In November, 2015 a fatal accident occurred in a Hawker 700 jet charter aircraft where all passengers and crew were killed primarily due to pilot error. The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) ruled in their report that contributing factors included "the charter company’s casual attitude toward compliance with industry safety standards; its inadequate oversight of the hiring, training and operational proficiency of the flight crew. Additionally, the company’s lack of a formal safety program and the [FAA’s] insufficient oversight of the company’s training program and flight operations were noted.”
The charter company responsible for the accident, was believed to have purposely misled the public into thinking it was WYVERN, ARGUS and ACSF certified by using false and/or unearned safety seals in their promotional media. The truth is this company was not audited by any safety organization, but to an unsuspecting traveler's eye, they would appear to be certified by the big three auditing bodies.
The three major safety auditing and governing bodies are the Aviation Research Group – US (ARGUS) , WYVERN and the Air Charter Safety Foundation (ACSF). Though each has its own proprietary safety rating scale they all require an in-person, on-site safety audit of a charter company to confidently assure the public that all FAA Part 135 (or Part 91) safety regulations are complied with and that each charter company conforms to industry best safety standards. Some unscrupulous charter companies may imply they have been audited and certified by simply pasting an applicable auditing company’s logo on their advertising and web sites.
Since 1981, Executive Fliteways has provided certified-safe air travel to its diverse and exclusive clientele. Currently, Executive Fliteways has achieved and maintained throughout the years the highest certified ratings of all three auditing companies. We feel it is more important than ever to remind you to look more deeply at the safety certification records for any jet charter company you consider and restricting your choice to a company that have achieved any one or more of the following ratings; ARGUS Platinum rating; The Wyvern Wingman Recommended rating and an ACSF minimum rating level of Three (3) or higher.
Providing well-maintained aircraft flown by highly-trained, experienced pilots is not an inexpensive proposition. As in most things in life, the cheapest option is not always the best, or safest, option. When selecting a charter company to meet your future travel needs, make sure that safety has not been compromised in order to offer the lowest pricing option!