There are typically fewer business jet accidents each year than turboprop mishaps and that distinction didn’t change last year. Unchanged also, for the second year in a row, there were no fatal accidents involving Part 91 corporate jets flown by salaried pilots. In fact, professionally flown Part 91 business jets were involved in only one non-fatal accident last year.
Aviation accidents and incidents
A Raytheon Beech T-34 Mentor crashed on December 7 when the left wing snapped off about four inches inboard of the root attach point. The Mentor was being operated by Texas Air Aces/Aviation Safety Training (AST) and crashed near Houston Hooks Field, killing the flight instructor and front-seat passenger. AST’s mission was emergency upset training for major flight departments around the U.S.
The UK’s Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB) released its final report on the 2002 crash of a Swearingen SA227-AC Metroliner III at Aberdeen Airport, Scotland. The accident followed failure of the right engine shortly after takeoff.
Landing overruns substantially damaged two Gulfstream IVs and a Falcon 20 in the period between November 29 and December 5. These accidents did not cause any injuries, but they were serious enough to warrant NTSB investigation and they happened around the same time that 23 people were killed in four separate accidents involving corporate jets and a King Air.
U.S.-registered turbine business aircraft accident numbers were mixed last year, according to aviation safety analyst Robert E. Breiling Associates of Boca Raton, Fla. The total number of accidents was down slightly last year compared to 2005, thanks mostly to the turboprop sector, which saw a 17.5-percent reduction.
As Comair Flight 5191 accelerated down an unlit runway into the predawn darkness at Blue Grass Airport in Lexington, Ky., last August 27, the captain–the nonflying pilot–called out “V one, rotate” followed by “whoa” and then an expletive.
Total business aviation accidents were down slightly in 2006, thanks mainly to a decrease of more than 17 percent in turboprop accidents, according to aviation safety analyst Robert E. Breiling Associates of Boca Raton, Fla. Total business aviation-related fatal accidents, on the other hand, were up in 2006 with 19.
The NTSB final report on the May 2005 crash of a Mitsubishi MU-2B found several causes, notably the pilot’s mishandling a partial power loss in the left engine due to his lack of recent flight experience and recurrent training. While flight logs provided by the family showed the pilot had more than 500 hours operating an MU-2, his last MU-2 flight before the accident flight was 14 years earlier. Four people were killed in the crash.
A lack of professionalism, discipline and knowledge exhibited by the two pilots flying the Pinnacle Airlines Bombardier CRJ200 that crashed in Jefferson City, Mo., on Oct. 14, 2004, directly led to the tragedy that took their lives, the NTSB has determined after more than two years of investigation.
More details have emerged about the November 5 fatal crash of Citation N505K following a loss of control on takeoff at Hobby Airport in Houston. The 55-year-old owner-pilot and his 37-year-old maintenance technician were killed in the accident.