Bizav Was Much Safer in 2009 — Including Non-Professional Pilots

It's true, business aviation traffic was down by an estimated 18-20 percent last year, compared with 2008. But the accident rate declined even more steeply, with 45 percent fewer accidents involving jets and turboprops. According to the latest numbers from Robert E. Breiling Associates, fatal accidents declined even more, with just eight in 2009 (involving 32 deaths) compared with 32 fatal accidents (58 lives lost) in 2008. For business jets, there was only one fatal accident in 2009, in which the two pilots died. This compares with five the previous year, in which a total of 20 crew and passengers were killed. Jets flown by non-professional crews showed improvement last year, with only one nonfatal accident, compared with 2008 in which there were seven accidents, two of which were fatal. The only segment to show a slight decline in safety was professionally flown turboprops operating under Part 91. There were eight accidents last year - three fatal. In 2008, there were only three accidents — but two were fatal. Based in Miami, Robert E. Breiling Associates has compiled safety data on the business aviation fleet for decades, and publishes The Annual Business Turbine Aircraft Accident Review.