A runway excursion is defined by the FAA as an aircraft departing the end (overrun) or side (veer-off) of the runway surface. This can and does occur during takeoff, but the vast majority of runway excursions occur during landing.
Runway excursions continue to be the leading cause of accidents in business aviation. In its 2022 Safety Report, the Flight Safety Foundation stated, “Runway excursions were, by far, the most common accident type in corporate jet operations in 2022 and throughout the period under review.” According to their statistics, in a review of accident types between 2017 and 2022, there were 79 runway excursions worldwide, which accounted for more than the next two accident types combined and nearly 41% of all accidents during that period. Of those 79 accidents, six were fatal, resulting in 18 total deaths.
Runway excursions cause serious and sometimes fatal injuries, substantially damage or destroy airplanes, lead to time-consuming and costly litigation, negatively impact the image and reputation of the owner/operator and invite more regulatory scrutiny. Furthermore, if a pilot survives the excursion, they can expect to find future employment far more difficult with such an accident on their record.
As a segment of professional aviation, business aviation can and must do better.
Improvement begins with knowledge of the risks and how to mitigate them. There already exists a wealth of knowledge and data, compiled by some of the most respected organizations and regulators in the world. It is incumbent upon all business aviation operators to become familiar with this material, incorporate it into their SOPs as appropriate, and contribute to reducing the frequency of runway excursions in the sector. NBAA has published this guide in an attempt to bring this information to light and provide references to the expertly compiled data for those who wish to explore it.