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Safety warning for UK`s corporate jets
30 May 2007

At the EBACE seminar, UK air navigation service provider NATS said 3.5% of the movements in the airspace it manages are business jets. Yet 16% of level bust incidents, 33% of failures to follow standard instrument departures, 12% of altimeter setting errors and 10% of the particularly dangerous error in which a pilot correctly acknowledges a level change instruction but fails to carry it out, involve business jets. At the same seminar the UK Civil Aviation Authority head of flight operations David Chapman came to similar conclusions. Taking fatal accidents in UK per million flying hours, the total business-aviation rate is eight and a half times that for large public transport aircraft and in line with the rate for pure freight operations, which Chapman says is unacceptable. He also presented evidence that suggests one reason is that the airlines have bought in to the well-established mandatory occurrence reporting scheme, but reporting from the business-aviation sector is proportionately much lower.
However, data presented by business aviation safety analyst Robert Breiling and Stuart Matthews of the Flight Safety Foundation shows the best two pilot-operated corporatejet aviation has safety standards as good as those of the airlines. (Flight International)