July 29, 2013

The first half of 2013 saw a mixed record when it came to business aviation safety, with accident rates down, but an increase in fatalities, according to the latest report from aviation safety experts Robert E. Breiling Associates, Inc.

The U.S. business jet fleet experienced seven accidents during the first six months of the year, compared to 10 during the same period in 2012. However, the number of fatal accidents increased to three, resulting in nine fatalities, compared with two fatal accidents and nine fatalities during the first half of 2012.

Looking at non-U.S. business jets, the number of accidents increased to four from three in the first half of 2013, compared with the same period in 2012. There was one fatal accident resulting in two fatalities in the first half of this year, compared with one fatal accident and three fatalities in first half of 2012.

Turboprops fared worse. In the U.S., there were 14 turboprop accidents, including eight fatal accidents resulting in 15 fatalities during the first six months of this year. That compares with 13 accidents and no fatal accidents during the same period last year.

Meanwhile, there were 17 accidents involving non-U.S. registered turboprops, including nine fatal accidents with 41 fatalities. That compares with 20 accidents, including six fatal accidents and 24 fatalities in the period in 2012.

In the report, Breiling said all three of the fatal U.S. jet accidents this year involved aborted landing approaches, one of which was at night, and the other occurring during a heavy rain storm. Over the past 10 years, Breiling noted that 45 percent of business jet accidents and incidents have occurred during landing. However, in 2012 the accident rate while landing had increased dramatically to 58 percent.

“As we have seen so clearly this year, safety can never be a second priority,” said Doug Carr, NBAA vice president of safety, security, operations & regulation. “Training and adherence to standard procedures become critical when facing unexpected situations. The accident history for the first half of this year demonstrates we must remain focused on basic flying skills.”

Breiling Associates’ 2012 The Annual Business Turbine Aircraft Accident Review is now available. For more information, visit www.breilinginc.com.