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evanm
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Biz Jets More Dangerous Than Commercial Aircraft?

Tue Oct 21, 2014 11:15 pm

Interesting article here from the fine folks at 538:

Are Corporate Jets More Dangerous Than Commercial Aircraft?
http://fivethirtyeight.com/datalab/c...l-aircraft-christophe-de-margerie/
 
26point2
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RE: Biz Jets More Dangerous Than Commercial Aircraft?

Wed Oct 22, 2014 1:58 am

I give some credit to the author when he accurately states that general aviation is a broad category so the relative safety of corporate aviation is difficult to quantify. Professionally crewed corporate jets and commercial airliners are equally safe.

Listing John Denver as a corporate jet statistic is a major boner, however. Denver crashed piloting a home built experimental aircraft. He did own a Learjet but never crashed it.
 
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lightsaber
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RE: Biz Jets More Dangerous Than Commercial Aircraft?

Wed Oct 22, 2014 2:10 am

So business jets are about as save as Commercial jets....

The advantage of business jets is the ability to conduct private (corporate) conversations without eavesdroppers thus increasing the 'productive time' of the executive. For that alone they will continue to sell well.

Accidentally landing on a snow plow won't ever be a common accident...

Lightsaber
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MD11Engineer
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RE: Biz Jets More Dangerous Than Commercial Aircraft?

Wed Oct 22, 2014 4:36 am

One issue is that usually the pilot's boss is sitting right behind him and, unless the pilot is very assertive, the boss can pressure him to fly in conditions, which the pilot normally would reject as not safe, e.g. to make it to a meeting.
This would e.g. include trying to land at unsuitable airport during out of limits weather conditions, and this has already caused a few crashes.

Jan

[Edited 2014-10-21 22:42:42]
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DocLightning
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RE: Biz Jets More Dangerous Than Commercial Aircraft?

Wed Oct 22, 2014 5:10 am

Another issue is that often private jets are flown by the same guys who always fly together. So they get a little too familiar and stop following procedures. At a large airline, pilots rotate and so they are always flying with someone they don't know very well and that way irregular behavior can be reported.
-Doc Lightning-

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Mir
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RE: Biz Jets More Dangerous Than Commercial Aircraft?

Wed Oct 22, 2014 5:35 am

Quoting evanm (Thread starter):
Are Corporate Jets More Dangerous Than Commercial Aircraft?

As the statistics show, slightly. But the difference is pretty much negligible.

-Mir
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BMI727
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RE: Biz Jets More Dangerous Than Commercial Aircraft?

Wed Oct 22, 2014 6:10 am

Quoting lightsaber (Reply 2):
Accidentally landing on a snow plow won't ever be a common accident...

It might be in Russia, considering the amount of snow and vodka.
Why do Aerospace Engineering students have to turn things in on time?
 
YYZYYT
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RE: Biz Jets More Dangerous Than Commercial Aircraft?

Wed Oct 22, 2014 5:25 pm

Quoting lightsaber (Reply 2):
Accidentally landing on a snow plow won't ever be a common accident...

Nor will the outcome be much different if you are flying commercial.
'

Quoting 26point2 (Reply 1):
Denver crashed piloting a home built experimental aircraft. He did own a Learjet but never crashed it.

To be fair, the article only throws in a reference to celebtreities killed in crashes of "private aircraft"... then later it expressly differentiates "professionally operated corporate jets" from aircraft such as Denver's - "tiny two seaters flown by amateurs".

One of the better aviation articles I've seen in a while. It confirms what I long suspected, not just in comparison to coerporate jets, but also the massive dfference between corporate and persona aviation...
 
Falcon Flyer
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RE: Biz Jets More Dangerous Than Commercial Aircraft?

Wed Oct 22, 2014 6:33 pm

I can assure you that flying with the same person for any length of time does absolutely not contribute to a lax cockpit environment. While there are always exceptions to the rule, I've been at my flight department 10 years, flying with the same person 90% of the time and from day one, as well as currently, it has been nothing but SOPs and checklists. All of the top flight departments, John Deere, Starbucks, 3M, United Technonolgies operate with staff that have been together for years, and operate with enviable safety records.
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boeingmd82
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RE: Biz Jets More Dangerous Than Commercial Aircraft?

Wed Oct 22, 2014 6:44 pm

I think the main issue with personal aviation breaks down to three problems. 1) Training, 2) Attitude and 3) Maintenance. The first thing I try to figure out when I take on a student is if this person is going to kill me or himself by climbing into an airplane. I've rejected many students after just a couple of flights, I can tell by then if its going to work out. I lose some students because they don't like my training techniques. I treat the flight deck of a Cessna 172 the same as I would treat the flight deck of an A320. Everything by the book. I get complaints that they aren't having any fun. The fun comes later, right now I'm trying to keep you alive. I think in general, the GA fleet is pretty well maintained. Established flight schools are a good source for airplanes. I really like the Open Airplane idea too. Be really careful if you have a buddy that owns an airplane. I find that many part 91 owners that get into an airplane don't realize how much cash it takes to keep it flying safely and they defer maintenance. I learned this early on when I borrowed a buddy's Beech Musketeer and the left brake went out after rollout. The musketeer steers with differential braking, so the tower had a good laugh watching me get back to the GA ramp only making right turns. I own a Skyhawk, and I have learned that if you have to ask how much some type of maintenance costs, you shouldn't be an owner.
 
DashTrash
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RE: Biz Jets More Dangerous Than Commercial Aircraft?

Wed Oct 22, 2014 6:45 pm

Quoting Falcon Flyer (Reply 8):
I can assure you that flying with the same person for any length of time does absolutely not contribute to a lax cockpit environment. While there are always exceptions to the rule, I've been at my flight department 10 years, flying with the same person 90% of the time and from day one, as well as currently, it has been nothing but SOPs and checklists. All of the top flight departments, John Deere, Starbucks, 3M, United Technonolgies operate with staff that have been together for years, and operate with enviable safety records.

I agree with this statement. I can say without question there is a training gap between what you will receive through an airline run training program with what you will get a Flight Safety / etc, but in my opinion it is the familiarity with the person you're flying with that overcomes the shortcomings found in corporate jet training.
 
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RJAF
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RE: Biz Jets More Dangerous Than Commercial Aircraft?

Thu Oct 23, 2014 11:34 am

Approaching/landing at smaller unfamiliar airports in adverse weather is also a higher risk for Biz aircraft.
Chance favors the prepared mind
 
jetwet1
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RE: Biz Jets More Dangerous Than Commercial Aircraft?

Thu Oct 23, 2014 12:07 pm

Quoting MD11Engineer (Reply 3):
One issue is that usually the pilot's boss is sitting right behind him and, unless the pilot is very assertive, the boss can pressure him to fly in conditions, which the pilot normally would reject as not safe, e.g. to make it to a meeting.
This would e.g. include trying to land at unsuitable airport during out of limits weather conditions, and this has already caused a few crashes.

Jan

At least in the US, that's a thing of the past, it's pretty much now drilled into those who get to fly on Corp planes that the pilot has the final say.

Heck at my company, it is made very clear before you even set foot on our plane, from the time the door closes till it opens, unless there is an emergency, you will be terminated if you make contact with the flight deck.

Quoting boeingmd82 (Reply 9):
I think the main issue with personal aviation breaks down to three problems. 1) Training, 2) Attitude and 3) Maintenance.

Again, in the US, not so much, with operate with 3 pilots on board, all of whom are ex USAF, we spend some serious money each year keeping these guys trained and the plane maintained.

Quoting Falcon Flyer (Reply 8):
All of the top flight departments, John Deere, Starbucks, 3M, United Technonolgies operate with staff that have been together for years, and operate with enviable safety records.

Exactly, companies that have no issues spending $$$$ where it is needed.
 
mandala499
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RE: Biz Jets More Dangerous Than Commercial Aircraft?

Thu Oct 23, 2014 12:59 pm

I disagree that business jets are more dangerous than regular commercial aircraft. At my place we fly single pilot operations for helicopters, carrying the corporate bosses as well as our own boss. We made it very clear to him that our job is to transport them safely and not kill him. Since we also have a corporate jet for his use, he knows very well that the moment he asks his pilots to take risks, they'll leave their jobs.

However, some bosses flying, don't get the message that their pilots don't want them (the bosses, or their clients) getting killed.

Business aircraft operators should always adhere to at least their regulatory safety standards, and whenever possible, go beyond, which can include getting some global certifications standards available from various associations.

We fired one pilot for taking risks already   He didn't like it, the boss didn't like it, but the boss had to accept that we don't want him or his people getting killed, and we don't want him losing his assets (his aircraft).

Quoting RJAF (Reply 11):
Approaching/landing at smaller unfamiliar airports in adverse weather is also a higher risk for Biz aircraft.

It depends on how the operator conducts their operations, and the preparation that goes into each flight.
A business aircraft operator's insurance rates can indicate their efforts into safety. My place's insurance rates are lower than that of the airlines here...
When losing situational awareness, pray Cumulus Granitus isn't nearby !
 
tp1040
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RE: Biz Jets More Dangerous Than Commercial Aircraft?

Thu Oct 23, 2014 1:59 pm

Quoting MD11Engineer (Reply 3):
One issue is that usually the pilot's boss is sitting right behind him and, unless the pilot is very assertive, the boss can pressure him to fly in conditions, which the pilot normally would reject as not safe, e.g. to make it to a meeting.

I count myself as lucky that I never encountered a CEO like that. I have heard about them, but my limited corporate experience has shown that the pilots are in charge of flight decisions. Passengers were under strict instructions to never question the pilots' decisions on safety.

There have been examples of commercial guys under pressure to make questionable decisions. Lucky I haven't encountered any of that. I have been on flights where passengers around me complain about weather delays and but I was knew the pilots were making rational decisions.
 
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DarkSnowyNight
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RE: Biz Jets More Dangerous Than Commercial Aircraft?

Thu Oct 23, 2014 2:51 pm

Quoting DocLightning (Reply 4):

Another issue is that often private jets are flown by the same guys who always fly together. So they get a little too familiar and stop following procedures.

I don't fly anything like what commercial guys do, and probably not as much as corporate pilots do, but it's always with the same people. I can say without fear of contradiction that This Never Happens. Not sure why you think it does...

Quoting Falcon Flyer (Reply 8):

I can assure you that flying with the same person for any length of time does absolutely not contribute to a lax cockpit environment. While there are always exceptions to the rule, I've been at my flight department 10 years, flying with the same person 90% of the time and from day one, as well as currently, it has been nothing but SOPs and checklists.

Indeed quite so.
"Nous ne sommes pas infectés. Il n'y a pas d'infection ici..."
 
MD11Engineer
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RE: Biz Jets More Dangerous Than Commercial Aircraft?

Thu Oct 23, 2014 4:59 pm

Quoting jetwet1 (Reply 12):
Heck at my company, it is made very clear before you even set foot on our plane, from the time the door closes till it opens, unless there is an emergency, you will be terminated if you make contact with the flight deck.

The one and only time I flew on a corp aircraft 83 techs, tools andspares to fix an AOG on a 747 in Sudan), the pilots seemed to be quite happy about us being on board. Every time one of us went to the galley to get some food or drink, we would ask the pilots if e.g. they'd like us to prepare them a cup of coffee. During fuel stops the smokers of our crew went to the smoking area together with the pilots. Maybe us hands on types were different from the usual executives they fly around. At least, we were talking the same language as them, aviation and aircraft, and not money like their usual passengers.





Quoting tp1040 (Reply 14):

I count myself as lucky that I never encountered a CEO like that. I have heard about them, but my limited corporate experience has shown that the pilots are in charge of flight decisions. Passengers were under strict instructions to never question the pilots' decisions on safety.

There have been examples of commercial guys under pressure to make questionable decisions. Lucky I haven't encountered any of that. I have been on flights where passengers around me complain about weather delays and but I was knew the pilots were making rational decisions.

I know of two bizjet crashes here in Germany during the last two years, where the pilots tried to force a landing in out of limits weather with non-CAT3 aircraft and non-CAT3 airports. I'm not sure though in how far these aircraft were piloted by hired crew or by the owners themselves.

Jan
Je Suis Charlie et je suis Ahmet aussi
 
dfambro
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RE: Biz Jets More Dangerous Than Commercial Aircraft?

Thu Oct 23, 2014 5:06 pm

Quoting darksnowynight (Reply 15):
Quoting DocLightning (Reply 4):
Another issue is that often private jets are flown by the same guys who always fly together. So they get a little too familiar and stop following procedures.
I don't fly anything like what commercial guys do, and probably not as much as corporate pilots do, but it's always with the same people. I can say without fear of contradiction that This Never Happens. Not sure why you think it does...

This factor was reported in the press as potentially contributing to the recent Gulfstream crash in Bedford Massachusetts

Quoting jetwet1 (Reply 12):

Heck at my company, it is made very clear before you even set foot on our plane, from the time the door closes till it opens, unless there is an emergency, you will be terminated if you make contact with the flight deck.

At my company we don't have a flight department but we occasionally charter. The pilots have always been friendly and happy to interact with us passengers while at cruise, even while sitting in their pilot seats up front.
 
Flighty
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RE: Biz Jets More Dangerous Than Commercial Aircraft?

Thu Oct 23, 2014 5:12 pm

Nothing is as safe as a commercial airliner, especially on non-oceanic flying. Business jets have fewer departures and more crashes. There are 10 million airline flights in the USA per year and 0-1 crashes on average. The crash rate is about 1 in 25 million now. Business jets do not match that, and never will. IMO. But, professionally crewed bizjets are very, very safe.
 
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cougar15
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RE: Biz Jets More Dangerous Than Commercial Aircraft?

Thu Oct 23, 2014 5:32 pm

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 6):
It might be in Russia, considering the amount of snow and vodka.

the Trouble is, there was no snow, so what was the plough doing on the active? News today, Airport GM and his deputy resigned, the ATZC Controller and the chief of the ´ground ploughing ops´ got arrested, guess Putinwants to Show the world that he takes this one serious & that RU has something related to a functional judicial System...??
some you lose, others you can´t win!
 
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RJAF
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RE: Biz Jets More Dangerous Than Commercial Aircraft?

Thu Oct 23, 2014 6:23 pm

Quoting mandala499 (Reply 13):
It depends on how the operator conducts their operations, and the preparation that goes into each flight.
A business aircraft operator's insurance rates can indicate their efforts into safety. My place's insurance rates are lower than that of the airlines here...

Biz Jet aircraft insurance rates are about the same due to many factors one being that the utilization is lower so less exposure as well as many Biz Jet owners pool themselves with an Insurance pool of let's say 10 biz aircraft thus lowering the premium rate but it certainly is not by far a lower risk than scheduled airliner operations and many of the Biz Jet incidents do not make headline news. A businessman in hurry to sign a deal in a remote part of the world at night and in bad weather will have a much higher risk than a scheduled airliner pilot landing at LHR for the 100th time in his life.
Chance favors the prepared mind
 
dw747400
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RE: Biz Jets More Dangerous Than Commercial Aircraft?

Fri Oct 24, 2014 4:50 am

It is important to remember that even among corporate jet operators, there is a major variation in training. The best flight departments operate in much the same way an airline does--and in some ways better. Many Fortune 100 companies are willing to pour money into training and maintenance, so the crews and aircraft are as well or better prepared than their airline counterparts. Throw in some conservative operating manuals and you basically have a 121 carrier with an unlimited budget to pursue safety.

Many corporations, as well as charter operators, don't quite get the blank check but still do a good job at maintaining a high level of safety.

The problems seem to pop up most commonly with single aircraft owned by and operated on behalf of wealthy individuals, or flight departments/charter companies that don't have the finances to support their operations.

In the first case, the boss often exercises a lot of authority and without a corporation to back up the pilot safety can and does get compromised. I know of more than one pilot that has broken one or more regulations because they were threatened with termination.

In the second, individuals and companies often don't really have the cash to support a solid flight department. They want a jet, and when operating under part 91 you can get away with a lot of stuff that helps increase flexibility and lower costs. Cash strapped charter operators often try this too, and sometimes they can pull the wool over the FAA's eyes for an extended period. Given the workload of your typical FAA principal operations inspector it is no surprise that some charter operators don't get the scrutiny they should.

In short, a corporate jet is no less dangerous than an airliner if you choose to treat the operation like an airline. If you decide to take advantage of the reduced operating margins afforded to private operators, the risks increase accordingly.
CFI--Certfied Freakin Idiot
 
CO953
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RE: Biz Jets More Dangerous Than Commercial Aircraft?

Fri Oct 24, 2014 10:01 am

This issue comes up every now and again with a new thread and brings back a memory. I lost a young friend in the 2001 Avjet Gulfstream III twilight crash in Aspen. She lost her life due to the client, her friend, getting in the cockpit and pressuring the pilots to land at Aspen instead of diverting to Rifle, because he had paid for an expensive dinner which was waiting for the passengers in Aspen. It didn't help that the twilight landing rules at Aspen had been changed a day or two before. A whole bunch of little things in concert combined to crash that jet. As it always happens. I hope that the lessons learned in 2001 will continue to save lives. RIP D.B.

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