I’m writing to discuss recent aviation safety findings as well as the specific safety of the Pilatus PC-12 aircraft.
The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), combined with the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) have done a tremendous job of creating the safest method of human transportation: aviation. Commercial aviation is the safest of all, primarily due to the substantial experience and continuing training of pilots.
As aircraft have become quite reliable, the vast majority of injuries and deaths are caused by pilot error. When getting into an airplane the statistics indicate that it is the pilots that you should be more concerned with than the airplane. Boutique Air pilots meet or exceed the part 135 standards for commercial pilots set by FAA regulations. Boutique Air flights are flown with both a captain and first officer.
Another subject of interest is single engine vs twin engine aircraft. Conventional wisdom suggests that hands down, two engines are better than one. When we look at the data, however, we find the opposite is true: Since its introduction in 1994, the single engine Pilatus PC-12 fleet has accumulated over 5 million flight hours with zero fatalities due to engine failure (NTSB).
During the 1994 to 2015 period, the twin engine Beechcraft B1900 fleet had eight U.S. commercial fatal accidents, resulting in the loss of 46 lives (NTSB). During that same time period the PC-12 has not sustained a fatal accident in U.S. commercial operations. There has never been a fatal injury due to engine failure in a Pilatus PC-12. Furthermore, there has never been a fatality in a Pilatus PC-12 in U.S. commercial operations.
The primary reason is the Pratt & Whitney PT6 engine, which powers both of these aircraft, often called “the most reliable engine in the world.” While not required, at Boutique Air we spend extra money on the most advanced GPS equipment available and use satellite weather for added safety.
Boutique Air has been operating aircraft since 2007 and has a zero injury and zero fatality record.
Editor’s note: Shawn Simpson is CEO of Boutique Air