In the world of business aviation, the Robert E. Breiling Associates company in Boca Raton, FL provides highly detailed statistics on business aircraft accidents and is recognized as a leader in the field. The company recently released its 1st quarter results which are notable in that they show an increase in turboprop aircraft accidents and a large deterioration in the safety of aircraft charter operations.
Since January 1st there have been 15 accidents in turboprop aircraft, of which 3 were fatal with a total of 7 deaths. Last year, by comparison, there were only 8 accidents in turboprop aircraft resulting in 3 fatalities. But when we look at the aircraft charter business we find that accidents increased from 2 last year with no fatalities to 10 accidents this year one of which was fatal. This is a 5 times increase over the same period last year. Moving on to bizjets, there was just 1 accident so far this year, but it was fatal for the 2 pilots in a Lear 35A accident near Chicago, IL. Last year, for the same period, there were 3 non-fatal accidents in business jet aircraft. It would be interesting to know how much flight activity there was last year by these classes of aircraft versus the flight activity for this year. If we knew the number of flight hours we could more properly relate this apparent increase in accidents. When looking at safety in aviation it is important to not just relate stark numbers. For example, the airline safety numbers are compared to passenger seat miles in order to give a more accurate measure of accidents and the results thereof. While the loss of life in the hundreds is terrible, compared to automobile accidents it is a very small number. The difference, of course, is that we are looking at a lot of deaths in the same location at the same time in the same accident. With auto deaths they are spread out and so don't provide the same impact even though there are significantly higher rates in cars than planes. What do you think? Until next time keep your wings straight and level Hersch! JetAviator7 There is no problem so complex that it cannot simply be blamed on the pilot. — Dr Earl Weine ps: Don't forget to sign up for our newsletter "All Things Aviation" here!