Business Aviation Gets Safer; But Lower Activity Is Part of the Reason

According to the most recent statistics from aviation safety researcher Robert E. Breiling Associates, business flying got almost 50 percent safer this year. Numbers for the first three quarters show only four fatal accidents this year (23 deaths), compared with 17 fatal accidents in the first nine months of last year, resulting in 46 deaths. The overall U.S. turbine business fleet has had 27 accidents through September this year, compared with 52 last year. The accident record for Part 135 charter operations also improved, with only seven accidents this year, all non-fatal. The first nine months of 2008 saw a total of 17 accidents involving charter ops; five were fatal involving 15 deaths. The report acknowledges that the improvement in safety is undeniably linked to a reduction in overall business aviation traffic of up to 30 percent year-over-year for the same time period.