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Hawker Hunter down at Shoreham

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Hawker Hunter down at Shoreham

Old 24th Aug 2015, 08:03
  #181 (permalink)  
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208 Squadron above Embakasi, Nairobi, in 1960. Configuration clearly visible.

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Old 24th Aug 2015, 08:11
  #182 (permalink)  
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Re flaps: try reading the pilots notes......
Hawker Hunter F. Mk.6 hunter6pic075
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Old 24th Aug 2015, 08:42
  #183 (permalink)  
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We do have Hunters being operated here in Switzerland too. Quite a few. But the real issue why the cannot fly all at the same time, is the lack of sufficient ejection seats. This is a requirement for them to operate. So the operators switch the seats among each other, every year. This means one year you will see the Papyrus Hunter in the air, the next you'll see the Tiger Hunter or the PS Hunter.

Assuming that in UK, they need to have the ejection seat installed, why he did not eject?
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Old 24th Aug 2015, 08:54
  #184 (permalink)  
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Too much speculation

I really do have a problem with drawing conclusions from the rather odd video, not unusual with amateur takes, but I would like to wait until either Andy, do not know him directly but friends do, is able to say what the hell happened or it has to descend into conjecture.

I personally do not think a loop was the intention, possibly an Immelman, Andy has always been a good display pilot but never seen him endanger himself let alone others.

A terrible tragedy, but just why, need more evidence and there is not enough but that descent simply does not look right, I question if he had much control from the apex and tried to recover too late.

In other words I do wonder if he was not incapacitated at the apex - been there, done that, but with more air underneath.

I only have rather vague memories of the Hunter but I do recall it was very forgiving and everything about Andy says he would not go feral, so I do suspect he was for whatever reason struggling with consciousness.

Horrible, I don't have anything else to say really other than RIP to the dead.

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Old 24th Aug 2015, 08:56
  #185 (permalink)  
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Police now say the death toll could reach twenty - presume they are going from reports of people missing.
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Old 24th Aug 2015, 09:06
  #186 (permalink)  
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I don't think we have to talk about closing airshows, they are part of Britain's heritage.

This pilot lined up on the A27 which was a terrible error of judgement. In many videos you see the giant expanse of the empty airfield and scrubland behind.

Living between Shoreham and Brighton I can tell you we get buzzed a lot by pilots especially on hot summer weekends, showing off.

A little more discipline and a deck with a safety margin would probably solve everything.
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Old 24th Aug 2015, 09:31
  #187 (permalink)  
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Telegraph online reporting today that Red Arrows have consistently refused to display at Shoreham due to proximity of public, they have only agreed to flypasts there.
Deaths revised to 20 plus.
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Old 24th Aug 2015, 09:53
  #188 (permalink)  
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I would hate that historic aircraft can't be displayed to the public, but it should be done safely. The Red Arrows are state of the art, well-maintained aircraft flown by top guns, historic aircraft are often flown by well-intentioned but non-professional pilots.
I have just seen the Red Arrows at Bournemouth, part of their routine involves flying over residential areas and crowds, nothing wrong with this and it adds to the excitement enormously- a singleton suddenly blatting through the air at about 300 knots 100meters above your head is great.
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Old 24th Aug 2015, 10:11
  #189 (permalink)  
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No comment on the probable cause here, but relating to the manoeurvre:

The manoeuvre was indeed a quarter cloverleafe. Similar to a loop but the exit is offset 90 degrees from the entry axis. In this case the aircraft rolled left after the initial pull up and passed the top with wings almost level and the aircraft inverted (now pointing 90 degrees to the left of the direction of running in), and thereafter aiming to pull out as one would do in the last half of a normal loop, and flying in a direction to the right of the run in axis.

It's called a quarter clover or cloverleafe because completing four of these manoeuvres one after another would result in the aircraft facing back in the direction of the original run in axis.

In competition aerobatics flying a perfectly round loop is what the judges are looking for, but in display flying, when the run in and exit are intended to be a low level, attempting to carry out a perfectly round loop involves a greater degree of risk, and is thus avoided in preference to a slightly "pear shaped" loop. The pear shaped loop peaks at an altitude greater then a round loop and permits more space and time within which to judge the pull out, and it also allows for the G requirements to be spread more evenly, rather than most of it being pulled at the bottom. This permits the performer to safely "bottom out" at very low level which the crowd likes to see.

Having said that, even the pear shaped loop needs to be flown with caution to avoid the speed decaying too much at the top because this presents a different set of problems entirely.

Last edited by deefer dog; 24th Aug 2015 at 10:22. Reason: text added
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Old 24th Aug 2015, 10:15
  #190 (permalink)  
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There is a huge difference between 'displaying' an aircraft and performing aerobatic manoeuvres with it.
I like to see the Red Arrows zooming overhead with coloured smoke etc. but I see no point at all in them flying close together or doing close cross overs simply to 'thrill' the spectators. You could consider that displays like this are ego stroking for the participants rather than the desire to present an interesting display.
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Old 24th Aug 2015, 10:25
  #191 (permalink)  
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Deefer Dog's description of the quarter clover is the most convincing explanation I have seen so far, especially compared with some of the ill-informed stuff in the press.
Perhaps experienced display pilots can say if there is likely to be a definitive written statement somewhere of the pilot's actual intended sequence. Knee pad or cockpit probably not now great places to look, but would he have had to leave a copy with the organisers? Presumably one of the many questions AAIB will ask.
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Old 24th Aug 2015, 10:25
  #192 (permalink)  
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I refer you to post 87 with the diagram of Shoreham for the 2014 display. We don't need the AAIB to tell us that the Hunter was flying over the A27. Are you suggesting that it was intentional? Because that is the inevitable corollary of your post.
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Old 24th Aug 2015, 10:33
  #193 (permalink)  
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Looking on the map, the green patch to the North of the airport is the only uninhabited area. I suppose the pilots must treat that as a safe zone, also it's very beautiful over the estuary. However there is the A27 between it and the airfield.

Pilot originates from the north green zone crosses the A27 but does not wait until he is properly over the airfield and begins ascending.

As he descends he is east and slightly south of the A27 heading W, and steers port perhaps to land on the A27, until with a few metres left the aircraft flattens and rolls right, perhaps ground effect.
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Old 24th Aug 2015, 10:45
  #194 (permalink)  
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Deefer Dog's description of the quarter clover is the most convincing explanation I have seen so far
There is no doubt that it was a quarter clover in my mind.

Yes, the airshow organisers would know his planned routine.
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Old 24th Aug 2015, 10:54
  #195 (permalink)  
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For many years I was a Councillor and was involved with the now defunct Lowestoft Air Show. I had some safety concerns at the time but these were allayed to a large extent by the fact that it took the form of a lateral display offshore.

Shoreham is very different and offers a completely different set of risks. I think that had we been presented with a Shoreham type setup I would not have been happy to have gone along with the display.
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Old 24th Aug 2015, 11:04
  #196 (permalink)  
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sharksandwich #193

I was at Bournemouth yesterday too. I didn't see the Red Arrows "flying over residential areas and crowds ... at about 300 knots 100meters above your head." I did see a superb performance by highly skilled pilots - their exact formation flying is wonderful and their nine-ship formation roll, as one aircraft, is a joy to behold. I saw singletons at about 300 knots [maybe slower really] and 100 metres over the sea, not over my head in fact sometimes they seemed about level with my head, where I was standing! Their display, and the other displays, were over the sea, not over the crowded foreshore and the built-up area.

After the Shoreham crash people are calling for that air show to be over the sea too. Safety-wise that sounds to make sense, but anyway I think the sea, and the sky over the sea, are a much better backdrop for displaying aircraft than an inland airfield.
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Old 24th Aug 2015, 11:11
  #197 (permalink)  
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a mother of one of the victims said that the air show should never have been staged near a busy road
There seems to be a lot of inverted logic about. How many airfields are actually clear of surrounding roads? Not many I think. And if airshows are to be limited to the seaside, that is Farnborough, Duxford, Fairford and Biggin Hill off the radar.

Also, the problem here (Swiss cheese) was exacerbated by road works leading to queueing traffic. If the road was flowing freely, it is likely there would have been fewer casualties.

Given the speed of the Hunter and width of road, the pilot should have passed over it in about 1/4 or 1/2 second. 50' one way or another, he would have missed.

This accident has many factors involved, and simplistic answers won't be helpful.

We need to wait for details from the AAIB and the subsequent CAA review before coming to potentially draconian solutions.

Last week I watched a TV programme featuring the 1952 Farnborough crash in which 29 spectators were killed. In those days, people had a more stoical attitude than we do and the display continued that day and the next with large crowds in attendance.

The 11 (so far) casualties were innocent victims of events outside of their control, but that can be said of many other incidents of loss of life - 7 people lost their lives on the M5 at Taunton in an accident said to have been caused by a fireworks display. We should recognise their loss and grieve for them but, sadly, life is unfair and nasty things do happen to good people without it necessarily being someone's fault.
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Old 24th Aug 2015, 11:14
  #198 (permalink)  
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Effluent Man #196

I think there's a contrast. Commercial flying may or may not be an essential part of life, but it goes on all day every day, with far more movements even in one day than at an air show (a British one anyway).

Many airports have major roads just ourside the fence. 20-odd years ago a Citation went off the end of Southampton's runway 20 and onto the M27. It was very early morning, traffic was light and luckily no-one was killed. It could have been in the rush hour. Then more recently a 777 with fuel starvation just made it over the A30 and onto the undershoot of 27L at Heathrow. Again, luckily, no-one died. It seems to me that we've got away with operating heavy aircraft at low levels over major roads and densely populated areas for so many years more by luck than by judgement. I'm sure the sky-gods here will say that everything is under control and nothing can possibly go wrong - I just hope that that holds true in the future.
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Old 24th Aug 2015, 11:17
  #199 (permalink)  
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Any air display at almost any airfield will involve display aircraft crossing a major road, how do the airfield's normal commercial customers get there otherwise.
Any aircraft making an approach on on that runway passes over the A27 at a few hundred feet.
Similar situation a many airfields including Gatwick.
Presume accident was a high speed stall, pilot had lots of hours, had he ever had one of those on that type. Doubt it,
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Old 24th Aug 2015, 11:26
  #200 (permalink)  
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Has anyone looked at the maps etc and considered this?

The aerobatic bit was carried out over the open land to the north of the airfield (low risk).
On exiting the move there is obviously a problem and he is trying to make it across the A27 to the clear ground to the West of the airfield.

Whatever went wrong though, due to the kink in the A27 at the point of impact, meant he was over the top of the road for a short period of time rather than crossing it at 90 degrees.

Unfortunately cars were queuing at the traffic lights at that time. The Vauxhall helicopter incident two years ago could have been so similar to this had the traffic lights been green instead of red.
RIP to those who were caught up.
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