Menu Sign In Contact FAQ
Welcome to our forums

HNWI (high net worth individuals) accidents

I want to make a list of accidents in general aviation involving high networth/famous/renowned individuals. Either self flown or as passengers. If available I’ll cross reference to the accident reports.

Kobe Bryant is the most recent one.

I’ll go through the usual sources but if you have any at the top of your head please post a quick reply. Also happy if a discussion evolves.


Last Edited by Snoopy at 29 Jan 23:56
CB IR Instruction

Do you want to define some hard criteria? Based on the top of my head, here are some that could fit, based on your definition.

Stee Wozniac

Harrison Ford

JFK crash

Buddy Holly

Randy Rhoads


Payne Stewart

EGTK Oxford

Not sure what is the goal?

On top of my head Vichai Srivad and Chris Cline both in helicopters

Do you count head of states flying GA in this?

ESSEX, United Kingdom

Thanks keep them coming!

Not sure what is the goal?

To collect a list of aviation accidents involving private ga airplanes involving but not limited to hnwi and famous people. Eg any owner flown jet qualifies, but also when sitting in the back like Kobe.
Head of states: absolutely!

The „qualify“ formula is a bit like this:
Who sits in the back of a jet? Someone affluent but maybe unknown/not famous person.
Who flies his own jet? Someone affluent. Citation X @ EDFE.
Who flies his own Cirrus/etc.. and a crash rings a publicity bell? Someone famous like that baseball player in NYC.

I’d include high end M/SEPs (multiple hundred thousand $$$) assuming the victim was a HNWI (Cirrus LOWZ) and lower end M/SEPs if the victim was renowned (eg the Pilatus Chief Pilot with his family crashing vfr in the swiss alps).

Why? Because it is a topic I find interesting.

Last Edited by Snoopy at 30 Jan 02:17
CB IR Instruction

Buddy Holly? EDIT already mentioned above (links fixed).

But then you could fill a forum with GA accidents, because in the 1950s and 1960s the “pop/rock stars” travelled using GA a lot, and all those flights were basically “VFR regardless”. Many of them got killed.

Shoreham EGKA, United Kingdom

More recently is better than decades ago. The longer ago the more „high profile“, eg Buddy Holly or Denver. Thanks.

Last Edited by Snoopy at 30 Jan 07:45
CB IR Instruction

Snoopy wrote:

Who flies his own Cirrus/etc.. and a crash rings a publicity bell? Someone famous like that baseball player in NYC.

That would have been Cory Lidle.

The criteria are quite loose. In many airline crashes you will also find “famous” people involved, but they have absolutely nothing to do with the crash itself.

Of the top of my head:

Melanie Thornton and Passion Fruit (LX3597)

Some UN and WHO official died on SR111.

Actress Carole Lombard died on board a DC3 which ran into a hill in 1942.. been a while.

As for private planes with owner pilots or on board of biz jets, there are many, but the context/causality is difficult to establish.

I remember the crash of a Citation at Lübeck Blankensee involving then Prime Minister Uwe Barschel, who was the sole survivor.

That accident is noteworthy for another reason: The captain of that Citation had been involved in a major crash before:
She was the first officer on a BAC 111 which crashed after departure from Fuhlsbüttel (HAM) after both engines failed immediately after lift off. The cause of the failure was traced back to the water injection system which had erroneously been filled with Jet Fuel.

There was the crash of composer James Horner (Titanic, Apollo 13, Braveheart, Avatar e.t.c.) flying his newly acquired Tucano while under the influence of prescription medicine. He crashed doing low level airwork.

Singer Ricky Nelson and his band died when their DC3 crashed during an emergency landing attempt in Texas

Singer Aaliyah died in 2001 after the Cessna 402 she was using to travel back from a location was overloaded by over 300 kg and crashed on take off.

Composer Jonathan Goldstein died in a crash in Switzerland last year. Thread is here on the forum.

The list goes on and on.

LSZH, Switzerland

On another aspect, I wonder what high profile accidents like this will do to the insurance premiums which are already on a high due to the Max crisis. High profile GA would in any case have higher premiums, the question is how risk assessors will look at things like this.

It should maybe also be a reminder to most of us who have normal insurances not to carry high profile even on a non-commercial basis. The risk is quite high that death or injury of someone like that could exceed the insured sums by far and consequently ruin a family of the pilot, even if he is deceased.

I remember a case where some gallant pilot took on board a very famous singer for a short VFR trip during the volcano crisis a few years back, flying her about 150 NM back to his homebase after her biz jet had been stranded due to the flying prohibition. Surely it was a very nice experience and to what I know they remained friends to this day. However, when he told the story later on, his insurance broker broke in cold sweat and told him straight to his face that had something untoward happened, he would have been confronted with a law suit exceeding his cover by a factor of 10 if not more.

LSZH, Switzerland
42 Posts
Sign in to add your message

Back to Top