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Private Jet Safety

One of the major concerns for many air travellers, regardless of whether they fly privately or commercially, is the overall safety record of the industry as a whole. Fear of flying is among the most suffered phobias in the world, probably due in part to the large numbers of people that perish in large commercial crashes. But private air travel has its fatalities as well. To be honest, private jet safety is as big a concern for the flight operators as it is for passengers.

Government entities regulate private jet safety in almost every nation to one degree or another. Take the U.S. for example, where the FAA regulates private jets through Part 135 of the general aviation regulations. Part 135 requires that all private jets be certified through a program that not only inspects the physical safety of the planes, but also evaluates the crews to determined compliance and fitness for flight. Only when a plane and crew are certified can the jet actually be put into service.

Some would argue that private jet safety is over regulated, others would say that it's not regulated enough. Truth be told, the EU has its own set of stringent requirements as do Australia, Japan, China, Russia, and many, many others. What a lot of people don't realize is that safety standards for private jets are, in most cases, comparable to those of commercial airlines. And even in areas where safety standards are lower, charter companies will often voluntarily meet a higher commercial standard for maximum safety.

If you're concerned about the private jet safety of your charter company, you can always check their safety record through the FAA, the European Aviation Safety Agency, third-party auditors, and in-house records. Reputable charter companies are not out to destroy the lives of innocent people. They take private jet safety very seriously. Ask about safety related equipment employed on their aircraft; find out what safety training their pilots have undergone; check with brokers who might have access to records of any past safety violations. You have the right to know, so don't be afraid to ask.

Just in case you're curious, FAA statistical data does reveal some interesting numbers regarding private jet safety. For instance, for the years 2000-2009, general aviation accidents were more than double those of commercial air travel, and fatal accidents fifty times greater. These statistics have been used to try and portray private jet travel as inherently unsafe compared to its commercial rival. But the statistics are misleading because private jets are lumped together with every kind of non-commercial airliner in the category of general aviation. Pull out all the fatal accidents with single-engine leisure planes, crop dusters, sightseeing helicopters and such, and the numbers look drastically different.

The truth if the matter is that comparing apples to apples, private jet safety is as reliable as that of commercial airlines. There's no need to fear private jet travel or to let that fear ruin your trip. You're in good hands with your charter company and its flight crew. You're paying for it, so enjoy it.

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