Pilot In Shoreham Airshow Disaster To Face Criminal Charges

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Pilot In Shoreham Airshow Disaster To Face Criminal Charges

Post by RyanS » Wed Mar 21, 2018 11:56 pm

Andy Hill, the Hawker Hunter pilot who crashed into a busy road and killed 11 people on the ground during an airshow in 2015, will face criminal charges for the incident. He will be charged with 11 counts of manslaughter by gross negligence and 1 count of endangering an aircraft.
The pilot of a vintage jet which crashed on to a dual carriageway during the Shoreham Airshow, killing 11 men, is to be charged with manslaughter.

Andy Hill was performing aerobatics when the Hawker Hunter jet crashed on to the A27 in Sussex on 22 August 2015.

Families of those who died have waited nearly three years to learn whether charges would be brought, an MP said.

Mr Hill, from Hertfordshire, who is 54 on Thursday, is due to appear before Westminster magistrates on 19 April.

He is to face 11 counts of manslaughter by gross negligence and one of endangering an aircraft, the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) said.

Mr Hill, of Standon Road in Standon, Buntingford, Hertfordshire, was questioned for the first time by police in December 2015 under caution, but was not arrested. He had voluntarily attended an interview.
http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-england-43494430

The crash lead to drastic changes in UK airshow regulations. I believe swept wing civilian jets are still not permitted to fly aerobatics?

The situation has already been very bad for airshows, I'm not sure how much worse this might make it.
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Post by Adam » Thu Mar 22, 2018 11:45 am

Correct, swept-wing jets can't fly aerobatics over land. Plus, in the wake of the accident, the CAA have hugely increased lateral separation between spectators and display lines and safety regulations have gone completely overboard. Now the Red Arrows can perform only flypasts at Farnborough and display several miles in front of the crowd at the RAF's only airshow - I'm not exaggerating! Display lines at seaside airshows seem to be now calculated from the ends of piers and headlands rather than the beach itself in many cases, which also increases separation by hundreds of metres. Many shows have gone out of business, many of our classic jets have been sold abroad and pilots are threatening to hang up their flying suits if this goes on much longer. Charges to hold airshows have been increased by a factor of ten, and who knows what it's done to their insurance premiums.

Theoretically, as the crash has been put down to pilot error, there's no reasonable grounds to keep many of these restrictions in place. There are signs that some of them are slowly being relaxed, but those "in the know" say we can't expect to return to pre-2015 regulations in the foreseeable future, if ever.
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Post by Bokimon » Thu Jun 07, 2018 6:27 pm

Have these new rules affected big premier shows like RIAT?
The FAB one does suck as I have borne witness to the new rules that took effect and definitely affected my experience for the 2016 show, therefore I will not return to the 2018 show next month. I will rely on ppl's youtube video uploads to get my fix I guess.
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Post by Adam » Fri Jun 08, 2018 7:37 am

Bokimon wrote:
Thu Jun 07, 2018 6:27 pm
Have these new rules affected big premier shows like RIAT?
The FAB one does suck as I have borne witness to the new rules that took effect and definitely affected my experience for the 2016 show, therefore I will not return to the 2018 show next month. I will rely on ppl's youtube video uploads to get my fix I guess.
That's a very tricky question. RIAT and several other big shows (Cosford, Yeovilton etc) are held on military property and therefore are goverened by Military Aviation Authority rules, not Civil Aviation Authority rules, so they've been spared the bulk of the CAA's knee-jerk reaction. However, someone in the RAF/MAA/insurance companies/airshow organisation (or, more likely a combination of the four) has decided that extra precautions need to be taken anyway.

Some of the changes at Farnborough, such as the cancellation of the Red Arrows, were apparently mandated by the Royal Air Force after their own safety review and not as a result of the CAA's new rules. An unknown body (widely believed to be the RAF themselves) also decided last year that the Red Arrows should fly on an "alternative display axis" much further from the crowd at the Cosford Airshow last year to keep them away from a nearby village. That is an MAA show. At RIAT themselves there have been some changes, including the closure of a well-known campsite under the display area and the construction of large fences at the runway thresholds to spoil the view and deter secondary build-ups of spectators. Obviously some secondary spectator areas remain and there are rumours that one day aircraft may be forced to fly at 500 feet above these areas, making display flying difficult/impossible, but I can't really see this happening. If you're watching RIAT from inside the airfield, then you won't notice a difference between 2015 and today.

As for Farnborough, that show lost its appeal a decade ago, at least, and it has become something of a laughing stock in the enthusiast community. Even if all the post-Shoreham changes were reverted, you would have to pay me to go back to that awful place. On the public weekend they charge RIAT prices for a collection of aircraft which can mostly be seen at a free seaside airshow, I'm sure people only buy tickets because of the Farnborough brand. The first and last Farnborough I went to was in 2014. Their budget at least allowed a good variety of classic jets, which most other shows can't afford, but sadly, even that can't happen any more. The classic jet scene has been descimated post-Shoreham and only one of the wonderful aircraft performing at that 2014 show remains. The rest have been sold abroad, grounded or put into long-term storage. That leaves a £42 show that features mostly solo Bearcats and autogyros.

Whereabouts are you travelling from if you don't mind me asking? I know this is a predominantly North American forum. There are a handful of shows that haven't been affected by the new regulations, some of them being very good ones indeed - and some even better (and cheaper) options over in mainland Europe. Radom, Poland this August is like RIAT x2 this year. Better than sitting watching YouTube!
Last edited by Adam on Fri Jun 08, 2018 7:41 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Post by Bokimon » Fri Jun 08, 2018 11:04 pm

^ It is just as I feared for FAB. I went and it was like 60 quid a person and it was for FAB Fridays or whatever that was called. It got cancelled half way thru thanks to some bad weather grounding the remainder of the action. The new rules will certainly kill the appeal of this on the flying scene.. However the exhibition scene I love it! The trade shows, souvenirs, reading material and knowledge from the experts who are manning the booths, North America does not have any that are in this kind of magnitude other than the yearly biz aviation expo.

Mainland europe for airshows this year, I heard of the Radom one but probably won't be going to that unless I can find a cheap deal to get my from Canada to Poland for a 1 week stint. I am likewise trying to do Belgium and possibly Axalp for the live fire exercise. Out of the 3 I guess, I will have to pick one..

The only big airshow I am confirmed to go is the China airshow in Zhuhai this Nov where I already bought my plane tickets to China, minus the connection flights which I will book later to get me to ZHU or a nearby airport. Their website will also update with life in the months leading up to it as the days wind down too..
Otherwise the rest are here in and around Western Canada..Including a nice under rated airshow which is just an evening show but the experience is awesome as the spectators sit close to the rwy RIAT style where a 70mm will get you a full frame side on of an CF-18..
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Post by Adam » Sat Jun 09, 2018 7:31 pm

Bokimon wrote:
Fri Jun 08, 2018 11:04 pm
^ It is just as I feared for FAB. I went and it was like 60 quid a person and it was for FAB Fridays or whatever that was called. It got cancelled half way thru thanks to some bad weather grounding the remainder of the action. The new rules will certainly kill the appeal of this on the flying scene.. However the exhibition scene I love it! The trade shows, souvenirs, reading material and knowledge from the experts who are manning the booths, North America does not have any that are in this kind of magnitude other than the yearly biz aviation expo.
Yeah, Farnborough's been pretty much killed off with regard to the public days. Remember that on the Saturday and Sunday there are far more tickets sold and the exhibition halls are closed!

Definitely do Radom if you get the chance. I'm gutted I can't go. It will be one of the best shows this decade!
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