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Hawker Hunter down at Shoreham

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Hawker Hunter down at Shoreham

Old 24th Aug 2015, 21:39
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What would you do? 2 fatal accidents involving vintage jet aircraft? Wise caution until the causes of both accidents are fully established and future risks considered.

The ban is on high energy manoeuvres and aerobatics, not on flying of all vintage jet aircraft. While mechanical failure is a possibility the airframe was apparently intact until point if impact ( to be verified) which perhaps does not indicate any obvious major structural failure.

By reducing G not only does one limit the risk to the structure but also the affect on pilots, some of whom are not exposed to daily levels of G which our military colleagues are. This may not have been a contributory factor but needs to be ruled out.

The sheer momentum that a fast jet has, in comparison with lighter piston cousins is obvious to see. If one reduces the initial risk of accident then the potential negative impacts, if an accident does occur can perhaps also be reduced.

It's a prudent approach and CAA it may seem have always been a bit uneasy with civilians ( even ex military instructors) operating without the public purse behind them. That said, I have no doubt that the aircraft was maintained and operated under the same strictures that apply within the military environment - funded by high net worth individuals with a passion for aircraft heritage.
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Old 24th Aug 2015, 21:48
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EASA Safety

Just goes to prove European Aviation is no safer than the rest of the world (this and German Wings as an example) , an Airshow disaster so easily avoided with common sense. All those poor people RIP.
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Old 24th Aug 2015, 21:55
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Hunters grounded, and 'vintage' (whatever that means, exactly) jets banned from performing 'high-energy' (whatever that means, exactly) aeros.

Hmmm.

If the CAA had formed an early impression that the 'problem' was with display rules, the concept of a display line, and performing aeros adjacent to built-up areas, they would have brought in rather different temporary restrictions, applying to ALL aeros, or to ALL jets.

I would very tentatively infer from the nature of the restrictions that the CAA knows or strongly suspects something; that there may be an issue with vintage jets in general, and Hunters in particular - and that it's related to the metal, rather than the 'software' or the rules, so to speak...
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Old 24th Aug 2015, 22:00
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Quote from Jackonicko (my underscoring):
"I'm not sure that the graphic bears enough resemblance to the manoeuvre seen in the videos, which seemed to show a roll to starboard during the climb, resulting in an approximately 90 change in heading."

Have to disagree, although that's what it looks like also to me on the most-shown video taken from north-east of the airfield. But, when the Hunter appears later, going over the top, you realise that in fact it must have rolled to the left during the climb. That is backed up by the other video taken by someone standing by the A27 near the subsequent crash site. (I frequently misjudge the direction of roll when observing a/c from the side at airshows, and it looks like I'm not alone in that.)
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Old 24th Aug 2015, 22:03
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The Planned Maneuver?

After seeing the previously posted graphic, I think I know what was intended. He was flying south down the river toward the sea, pulled up into the vertical and rolled left to change the plane of the loop to the west so that he pulled out in a low pass to the west of the show line. (The crash site more or less matches the location shown in a BBC graphic.) This maneuver keeps the jet pointed toward vacant or less populated areas for the most part.
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Old 24th Aug 2015, 22:09
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Originally Posted by Pace
Banning of vintage aircraft founded or public pacification?
I find it very odd that the CAA have banned vintage aircraft from anything other than mild banks and flyovers over land!
Does this mean they suspect structural failure due the the aircraft being old ? If so does a spitfire rebuilt to as new count ?
Are the CAA suggesting that a vintage jet has inferior handling to a modern jet and this played a part in the crash ?
Or are vintage aircraft being used as a scapegoat for public reassurance only ?
The media has made much of the Hunter being a 60-year-old aircraft (early reports even attributed it to be a WWII aircraft), so the public are being appeased ("Something should be done!") by specifying vintage (SIC) jets.
Of course there would be an outcry if true vintage aircraft such as the Spitfire were to be prevented from displaying in this 75th year since the Battle of Britain - the upcoming event at Duxford (where the Hunter was scheduled to appear) would have been decimated.
This way, by grounding the Hunters and restricting the older jets to low-energy fly-bys, it avoids the embarrassment of prevent the Red Arrows and the Typhoon from displaying.
There remains the Vulcan, and, IMO, the Vulcan display will be judged to be acceptable and allowed to continue (especially as it is a swansong for XH558).

That it appears that the incident might have been as a result of inadequate 'safety' consideration (the display location - not the aircraft) will be overlooked by the public (as the '60 year old' jets will no longer present a danger to spectators and the general public at large).

Of course, there is nothing to prevent a non-displaying aircraft from crashing onto a highway (or, indeed, a built-up area) when in transit . . .
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Old 24th Aug 2015, 22:10
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I find it very odd that the CAA have banned vintage aircraft from anything other than mild banks and flyovers over land!
That is not an attack on the CAA............ or its a political move for public confidence.
Of course it is political just as having 2 on the flight deck due to German Wings is political. The public and politicians want something to be done and it has been. Nothing will ever ever make up for the loss of life and banning vintage jets from high energy displays will definitely do the trick until a modern jet is involved.......... F4, F16, F18, Hawk 200.......they were all modern at the time!

My heart goes out to all those affected, I hope those injured recover and those bereaved eventually find peace.
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Old 24th Aug 2015, 22:20
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ETOPS Fantastic graphic!

jack The video at 13 secs is very confusing. One has to really go frame by frame to see that the viewpoint is looking at the top of the aircraft and not that it's just in shadow compared to the bright underside. The tail is the confirming factor, the centreline of the fin being displaced to the right takes away all doubt.


Originally Posted by Chris Scott
Quote from Jackonicko (my underscoring):
"I'm not sure that the graphic bears enough resemblance to the manoeuvre seen in the videos, which seemed to show a roll to starboard during the climb, resulting in an approximately 90 change in heading."

Have to disagree, although that's what it looks like also to me on the most-shown video taken from north-east of the airfield. But, when the Hunter appears later, going over the top, you realise that in fact it must have rolled to the left during the climb. That is backed up by the other video taken by someone standing by the A27 near the subsequent crash site. (I frequently misjudge the direction of roll when observing a/c from the side at airshows, and it looks like I'm not alone in that.)



Comany # 283, yes wasn't that the most cringe-making performance, from both parties, that you could ever wish to see.
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Old 24th Aug 2015, 22:37
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correction

Etops my apologies, I stand corrected . Having reviewed further footage I can see that your graphic is accurate. It's easy to lose orientation when there are so many conflicting angles. Please disregard my comments. The enhanced later graphic is also useful.
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Old 24th Aug 2015, 22:40
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Though I'm sure it's absolutely not how they're really feeling I'm afraid that the interview with John Turner on Today this morning did make the British Air Display Association appear rather complacent.
What should have been a useful and informative interview was ruined by John Humphries determination to focus on forcing displays to be held over the sea.
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Old 24th Aug 2015, 23:18
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Originally Posted by HelenDamnation
Not sure which half cuban you've been doing but the one I was taught has a significant downward manoeuvre akin to the second half of a loop which I assume you're referring to in reference to this accident.
A 45-odd upright dive is nothing like a vertical second-half of a loop.
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Old 25th Aug 2015, 00:36
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Posted for comparison Past F-86 air show crashes

Posted for comparison (more info in the link below) - 3 fatal F-86 crashes at or after an air show, the worst being in 1972 when an F-86 departing the air show failed to gain altitude on take-off and crashed into a car and an ice-cream parlor killing 22 (12 children). Interesting the mention of the "G" suit. Questionable whether the pilots in the first and last should have even been flying the aircraft. The second was 64 and had 14 years military, including fighters and 24 years commercial. Seems like insufficient altitude for the maneuver played into two of them. I'm also curious if the FAA changes still stand on check-outs and to what aircraft they apply after Jeff Ethell's P-38 crash.

AirSafe.com Plane Crash Video Collection: Two Fatal Air Show Crashes of F-86 Sabrejets

1997 - The NTSB identified the probable causes as the pilot's inadequate planning decision making concerning performance of an aerobatic maneuver and his failure to maintain adequate altitude and clearance above the runway during recovery from the maneuver. Another related factor was the pilot's lower tolerance to Gs by not wearing a G suit.

1992 - The National Transportation Safety Board determined that the probable cause of this accident was inadequate planning and decision making by the pilot in starting the aerobatic maneuver at an insufficient altitude to successfully complete the maneuver.

1972 - The NTSB concluded that the accident was a result of pilot error due to lack of experience on the jet. The pilot had logged less than four hours flying time in the Sabre. The FAA modified the rules governing the flight of ex-military jets over densely populated areas, and mandated clearance for such flights. Pilot requirements were also tightened: they would require a checkout by the manufacturer or military, and take-offs and landings would have to be observed by an FAA inspector to confirm proficiency.
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Old 25th Aug 2015, 01:40
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This video, taken from less than 100 meters west from the impact, seems to show that the descending part of the loop is to the WEST of the climb, not the East as depicted in the graphic.
The camera is pointing Northwards.
At the top of the climb the Hunter apparently rolls/turns/wingovers to the west and is portrayed on camera as moving right to left.
On the way down it crosses the climbing track.
Having said that we can't be totally sure the camera was kept level, but I believe it was.


http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-34034784


Mickjoebill

Last edited by mickjoebill; 25th Aug 2015 at 01:56.
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Old 25th Aug 2015, 06:27
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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pvHp...ature=youtu.be

well, for sure the aircraft stopped flying and impacted the ground in a stalled condition. This tragedy and all those involved will have ramifications, if only because of the involvement of innocent bystanders. Even my wife, a non aviator, cocked an eyebrow to a vertical manoeuvre with a minimal margin of error over a main highway.

We can but collectively think of those affected by the lives cut short.

In time the media storm will pass and measured sense will one hopes begin to prevail.

If you examine this video and do a fag packet calculation from second 7 to second 11, concluding he travelled about 400 yards, it appears entry speed was the order of 180kt - that to me appears slow, and confirmed the sucking in of air by pilot-spectators with me & off the cuff comments on entry that "this might be tight"

An earlier poster states
-------------------------
sovereign680

The only military jet ( not a Hunter) I ever performed loops in required 240knots entry speed pull it into 4 g and it would do a perfect loop with a diameter of 6000 feet.
-------------------------

The height of entry looks about 500' which would tie with a display minimum. But of course, that was off display area and that might be open to consideration

Having approached on the A axis [as I saw it] he rolls 90 degrees off axis to port - as a manoeuvre that makes no sense to me - and I wonder if the intention was to roll 135 degrees and return to 45 degrees to the A axis - his approach height and entry speed made no sense for a full looping manoeuvre

However, by way of how these things can go wrong very rapidly he had a mere 12 seconds from top of climb to sort it out

Lack of height due to lack on entry speed would be a factor

Loss of aileron authority due an incipient stall at the top could be a factor which may have curtailed the roll manoeuvre and turned the exit vertical - the Hunter had a pretty vicious stall at about 130kt, unsurprisingly given its wing.

Having started his recovery he spent about 7 seconds give or take in the vertical - which given only 12 seconds to impact from inverted, and a possible lack of height to play with was a critical element. It suggests lack of energy to play with with suggests a slow speed over the top which suggests a gate height issue - or the manoeuvre turned into something which was not planned due to the stall over the stop. He reached gate height but in the wrong attitude.

Finally despite best efforts, it clearly stalls again [as in, rapid vertical descent] in the closing seconds. The impact is uncontrolled and positive.

That the pilot AH survived is, one hopes, a miracle.

It must also have been hard for a friend and fellow ex RAF colleague of the pilot, XH558's Captain Phil O'Dell to run the Vulcan down in tribute at 1000'.

He will have briefed before he flew and AH always debriefed the display afterwards. [see comments by Kevin Bacon of Brit Air display Assoc] To all accounts he remained a consummate professional.

To my mind we now enter a period of reflection. There will be changes, but they should be for good reason, and targeted at specific risk management.

Last edited by Reheat On; 25th Aug 2015 at 06:40.
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Old 25th Aug 2015, 06:42
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Originally Posted by Duchess_Driver
if it takes the AAIB 10 days, 10 months or 10 years to do a proper job that they are more than capable of doing I would much prefer that than some half-arsed knee jerk reactive ban based on some of the bollocks I've read here.
Exactly. Besides, the fact that an accident report may take a year or more to complete doesn't preclude the AAIB from making Safety Recommendations early in the investigation, if deemed appropriate. Plenty of examples of that in recent years.
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Old 25th Aug 2015, 07:05
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Dave

Safety recommendations like banning vintage jets in comparison to modern fighter jets which may I point out have equally caused loss of life on the ground must indicate that they have suspicions that the age of the jet was relevant to this crash.

The pilot survived although critically injured. It maybe that he is lucid enough to have already explained what went wrong to have caused the CAA to bring in such an instant ban ( addendum just read that the pilot has been put in an induced coma so my comment left is probably irrelevant)

I still wonder if this will not be a slippery slope to air shows being no more than watching distant dots

I used to go to Cosford airshow 20 years ago and there was a field right under the approach path accessed by a major road and out of the airshow grounds
hundreds used to move into that field for the thrill of seeing fighter jets pass a matter of a few hundred feet above or a Vulcan Bomber shaking the ground with the incredible noise as it blocked out the sun passing overhead you.

Last edited by Pace; 25th Aug 2015 at 09:06.
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Old 25th Aug 2015, 08:34
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The CAA had to do SOMETHING and it looks like they have got it about right. Long term, I'm not sure where it leaves airshows in general though.

A lot of the regular airshows do not have a 'sea' nearby and even if they do there are clearly logistical issues with organising a coastal display, not least parking, viewing etc and not forgetting that the safest place to watch an airshow is on an airfield behind the crowd line.

Interesting that the Red Arrows have regularly refused to display at Shoreham due to being (relatively) built up. Maybe the way forward is rural inland sites only.

Can't help thinking this is a freak accident though. If he had rolled out 100 yards further south would have cleared the road and put down in woodland/open ground.
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Old 25th Aug 2015, 08:39
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Originally Posted by Reheat On
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pvHp...ature=youtu.be

well, for sure the aircraft stopped flying and impacted the ground in a stalled condition. This tragedy and all those involved will have ramifications, if only because of the involvement of innocent bystanders. Even my wife, a non aviator, cocked an eyebrow to a vertical manoeuvre with a minimal margin of error over a main highway.

We can but collectively think of those affected by the lives cut short.

In time the media storm will pass and measured sense will one hopes begin to prevail.

If you examine this video and do a fag packet calculation from second 7 to second 11, concluding he travelled about 400 yards, it appears entry speed was the order of 180kt - that to me appears slow, and confirmed the sucking in of air by pilot-spectators with me & off the cuff comments on entry that "this might be tight"

An earlier poster states
-------------------------
sovereign680

The only military jet ( not a Hunter) I ever performed loops in required 240knots entry speed pull it into 4 g and it would do a perfect loop with a diameter of 6000 feet.
-------------------------

The height of entry looks about 500' which would tie with a display minimum. But of course, that was off display area and that might be open to consideration

Having approached on the A axis [as I saw it] he rolls 90 degrees off axis to port - as a manoeuvre that makes no sense to me - and I wonder if the intention was to roll 135 degrees and return to 45 degrees to the A axis - his approach height and entry speed made no sense for a full looping manoeuvre

However, by way of how these things can go wrong very rapidly he had a mere 12 seconds from top of climb to sort it out

Lack of height due to lack on entry speed would be a factor

Loss of aileron authority due an incipient stall at the top could be a factor which may have curtailed the roll manoeuvre and turned the exit vertical - the Hunter had a pretty vicious stall at about 130kt, unsurprisingly given its wing.

Having started his recovery he spent about 7 seconds give or take in the vertical - which given only 12 seconds to impact from inverted, and a possible lack of height to play with was a critical element. It suggests lack of energy to play with with suggests a slow speed over the top which suggests a gate height issue - or the manoeuvre turned into something which was not planned due to the stall over the stop. He reached gate height but in the wrong attitude.

Finally despite best efforts, it clearly stalls again [as in, rapid vertical descent] in the closing seconds. The impact is uncontrolled and positive.

That the pilot AH survived is, one hopes, a miracle.

It must also have been hard for a friend and fellow ex RAF colleague of the pilot, XH558's Captain Phil O'Dell to run the Vulcan down in tribute at 1000'.

He will have briefed before he flew and AH always debriefed the display afterwards. [see comments by Kevin Bacon of Brit Air display Assoc] To all accounts he remained a consummate professional.

To my mind we now enter a period of reflection. There will be changes, but they should be for good reason, and targeted at specific risk management.
Best post I've read so far on this topic !!!!
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Old 25th Aug 2015, 08:47
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Question Ejection seat question.

One of the pictures showed a small white puff at about 50 to 100ft. Was that the canopy gas piston (Not sure which system this model had fitted, as the Swiss did some Mods on them) ??

Where was the pilot located when he was found, cos I think the actual seat fired a fraction before impact ??
There would have been no chute visible, as it was well outside the RoD / IAS curve for what I presume was a non rocket seat.

The result would have been why the pilot survived, as I can assure you this was not a survivable accident in basic terms, even the RoD at impact was out of limits even before you consider the ground speed (Most jets have all their weight aft of the cockpit and only the A10 has a good set of crash bars, or air bags).
http://www.martin-baker.com/products...eats/mk1-9/mk2
(First fully automatic seat)

In visual terms, the entry to the loop was far too slow and if you want to impress a crowd without putting them at risk, a high speed but gentle dive, followed by a pull up and roll is far safer than looping, but you should practice dealing with a flame out at any position in the routine.
Confirmation that he tried to eject:
http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk...-10469507.html

PS: THE CAA BAN IS PERFECTLY CORRECT, although some type specific max and min speeds will be added in due course I suspect, to the more normal height and position data.
The Swiss air show collision (One dead, no drogue) complicates things, as they might need to add some figures or a basic formation flying rating.

Last edited by skyship007; 25th Aug 2015 at 09:14.
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Old 25th Aug 2015, 09:05
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Originally Posted by ETOPS
Take a look at this graphic...
It has bothered me that the run in looked like the start of a barrel roll - which would have had its descending line in front of the crowd - but what was flown was an off airport loop that would have finished with a low flypast.
There is a continuous rate of roll up to to the apex then a wings level pull through.
Originally Posted by Tailspin Turtle
The Planned Maneuver?
After seeing the previously posted graphic, I think I know what was intended. He was flying south down the river toward the sea, pulled up into the vertical and rolled left to change the plane of the loop to the west so that he pulled out in a low pass to the west of the show line. (The crash site more or less matches the location shown in a BBC graphic.) This maneuver keeps the jet pointed toward vacant or less populated areas for the most part.
ETOPS, you are right for the entry point of the maneuver, its general orientation and the point of impact. However, I think you misjudged the rolling movement and that the figure was NOT started as a barrel roll.

I see that the plane entered the loop wing-level and remained wing-level up to shortly after 60 into the loop. A quarter roll took place between 60 and about 80 into the loop. As a result, the plane never flew vertically and the whole quarter leaf figure is distorted ; its main axis is tilted 15-20 to the vertical in a southern direction. The actual apex was thus lower than the apex of the initial loop movement and also lower than the apex of the intended figure which, I believe, is what Tailspin Turtle depicts.

I wouldn't dare to comment on the cause of this early rolling motion but I think it has a direct causal effect on the descending loop aiming below ground level.

Luc

Last edited by Luc Lion; 25th Aug 2015 at 13:51.
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