Shoreham air show crash: Report shows risk assessment failures
Organisers of the Shoreham air show, where a jet crashed in 2015 killing 11 people, failed to carry out a proper risk assessment and were unaware of the pilot’s display plans, a report has concluded.
The Air Accident Investigation Branch’s (AAIB) report into the incident said that while the flying display director at Shoreham was well qualified, but he was not fully aware of the sequence of display manoeuvres the pilot of the jet was planning to carry out.
He was not, therefore, able to identify where they would take place, or which groups of people would be put at risk, the BBC reported.
Andy Hill, the pilot of the jet, survived the crash after the1959 Hawker Hunter jet he was flying plummeted on to the A27, in August last year.
The vintage jet fell during a rolling manoeuvre, destroying a number of vehicles and bursting into flames.
Richard Westcott, BBC transport correspondent said that this report doesn’t tell you why the Shoreham jet crashed, as that final report won’t be out for some weeks yet.
But it will have big implications for air shows up and down the country. It’ll mean tougher rules, more red tape, higher costs, better safety and it could also spell the end for dozens of the smaller shows, he added.
The report does say that that in a previous display, in 2014, the same aircraft had flown over residential areas several times, as well as performing a steep turn over the town centre of Lancing.
This was despite its flying permit specifically stating that it should not be flown over congested areas and the show’s organisers operating under similar constraints. However, the pilot was not told to stop his display.
The report also shows that The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) , which is responsible for allowing air shows to go ahead and monitoring their safety, only attended 18 of the 254 displays it authorised. In the United States, the regulator attends every show.
The report further issues a series of recommendations which are designed to make air shows safer in future. The 14 recommendations involve the way shows are organised and regulated, and how pilots are qualified to take part in them.
Responding to the latest report a CAA spokesperson said: “We will now review the AAIB’s bulletin in detail and consider all of its recommendations carefully. We will also factor the AAIB’s findings into our ongoing review of air display safety, which we expect to complete in the coming weeks.”
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