Commercial flights are twenty-five times safer than private jets

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Posted at 15:15 on 18 January 2009

The recent dramatic events on US Airways Flight 1549 will no doubt be getting a few people wondering about what's the safest way of flying.

It turns out that those of us whose budgets are limited to economy class can take heart from the knowledge that scheduled airlines come out top, and private jets come out bottom.

According to this statistics page, if you fly by private jet, you are up to twenty-five times more likely to be killed in an air accident than if you spend the same amount of time flying on scheduled airlines.

Apparently, airliners have 0.089 fatalities per 100,000 flight hours. General aviation has 2.305. Small commuter planes notch up 1.230. Granted, the "general aviation" figure no doubt includes flying schools and stunt planes, but one would expect private jets to fit in somewhere near the "commuter plane" category. So the difference is still an order of magnitude at least.

(Hat tip: Matt Hellyer.)