Last year, generally showed some improvement over 2017 in business aviation safety, although the number of business jet fatalities – at 25 – was slightly up on the previous year, when 22 passengers and crew died. Nevertheless, 2018 results for both business jets and turboprops have generally come in on or slightly better than the long-term trend.
During 2018, business jets suffered six fatal accidents, the same as in 2017. This number is more or less average – the average for the current decade is now 6.4 fatal accidents per year. The annual average for the previous decade was 7.6 and for the 1990s, 8.2.
The six accidents in 2018 gave rise to 25 passenger and crew fatalities. The annual average for the current decade is 25.6, slightly worse than for the previous decade when the average was 23.4 fatalities. The annual average for the 1990s was 35.9.
The business jet fatal accident rate in 2018, at 0.03 per 100 aircraft in operation, was the same as that in 2017. However, in the long term, the fatal accident rate for this class of aircraft has been halving about every 12 years. The fatality rate for the class in 2018 was 0.09 per 1,000 seats, which is slightly above the long-term trend.
Business turboprops suffered nine fatal accidents in 2018, a marked improvement on the 15 accidents recorded in 2017 and on the annual average for the decade of 11.7. The average for the previous decade was 15.6 and for the 1990s, it was 16.7. The nine fatal accidents in 2018 resulted in 22 passenger and crew fatalities compared with the 42 fatalities in 2017. The annual average for the decade is now 39.3 fatalities. In the previous decade it was 49.8 and in the 1990s, 58.1
The business turboprop fatal accident rate in 2018 was 0.09 per 100 aircraft, compared with 0.15 in 2017. The turboprop fatal accident rate is improving but it has taken some 20 years for it to halve. The fatality rate for the class in 2018 was 0.2 per 1,000 seats, which is well below the long-term trend.
The worst accidents in 2018 included:
1) Challenger 604 (TC-TRB) crashed near Shahre Kord, Iran while en route from Sharjah to Istanbul on 11 March, killing the three crew and eight passengers on board.
2) King Air C90B (VT-UPZ) crashed on approach to Juhu Airport, Mumbai, India on 28 June. The two crew and two passengers on board and one person on the ground were killed.
3) Piper PA31T (N555PM) disappeared on a flight from Andrews, South Carolina to Governors Harbour, Bahamas on 24 October and is believed to have crashed into the Atlantic Ocean some 100 miles southeast of Charleston, South Carolina, killing the pilot and four passengers on board.
4) Citation M2 (PP-OEG) crashed on landing at Fazenda Santa Terezinha, Jequitai, in Brazil on 26 November, killing the two crew and two passengers on board.
5) Citation V (N188CW) crashed shortly after take-off from Fulton County Airport, Atlanta, Georgia on 12 December, killing the pilot and three passengers on board.