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Hawker Hunter down at Shoreham

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Hawker Hunter down at Shoreham

Old 25th Aug 2015, 10:46
  #321 (permalink)  
Join Date: Mar 2015
Location: UK
Posts: 176
Originally Posted by Reheat On
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"
As someone else said, good post, but let's just look at that fag packet again.

If the estimated distance is instead 500 yards the speed is 225 knots; 555 : 250

There will probably be careful examination of such details to try to derive more precision, but even so there will be margins for measurement tolerances.
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Old 25th Aug 2015, 12:12
  #322 (permalink)  
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"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."

No, the age of the aircraft is irrelevant. The temporary ban on Hunters will be to ensure that there were no underlying airworthiness issues in this accident; you can expect to see that ban lifted when the AAIB has completed its initial technical investigation.

As for vintage v modern, there are no modern fighter jets on the civil register here (except in test or manufacture) and the only ones on the display circuit are in military hands. The measure will be aimed at recency or currency, or whatever you would like to call it, and is a simple way of ensuring that, for the moment, high-energy manoeuvring is only conducted by those best suited for it. In broad terms it is a public confidence measure which means the only fast jets doing vertical manoeuvres in the UK will be military, and where the pilots will be flying the display aircraft day in, day out. The CAA does not regulate military flying, that is MOD's job.

The restrictions may be relaxed when the review is complete, but I suspect that will only be tied to some significant changes to base heights and perhaps to the display authorisation process too.
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Old 25th Aug 2015, 14:27
  #323 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jan 2008
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I still wonder if this will not be a slippery slope to air shows being no more than watching distant dots
None of us would like to just watch dots, low flying is a necessary element of a satisfactory airshow. But, a decent display of "larger" aircraft can be presented at low altitude, without high energy maneuvering. I've seen a Vulcan flown at airshows many times, I have never seen one looped nor rolled. I left each airshow very satisfied with the Vulcan display I witnessed. Were I to see a Hunter flown, I equally expect I would be satisfied with some nice flybys, in different configurations, and not feel let down, were it not looped nor rolled.

Yes, If I see a Pitts or similar type enter the airspace, I won't be surprised if it's pilot performs some aerobatics, but that is a different class of aircraft than a vintage military jet or large aircraft.

It is up to the public to present their realistic expectations of the type of performances to be flown at airshows. As usual, the "authority" eventually, or reactively represents the public desire, about as broadly as possible. So, the authority will make rules, just some times, not at the right time, and perhaps in the less ideal measure.

In the mean time, I speak with my ticket purchase, and choose not to attend air displays for which I read promotion like "death defying....".
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Old 25th Aug 2015, 14:27
  #324 (permalink)  
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Fortissimo -

'As for vintage v modern, there are no modern fighter jets on the civil register here (except in test or manufacture) and the only ones on the display circuit are in military hands'

Not correct

All military type jets manufactured in the UK, either for UK or export, are test flown on the UK Military Register under the authority of the MAA.

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Old 25th Aug 2015, 14:39
  #325 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jul 2015
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CAA official SD now issued.

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Old 25th Aug 2015, 14:42
  #326 (permalink)  
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Good logical and justified reason in para 2 of the Annex, I see.
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Old 25th Aug 2015, 14:46
  #327 (permalink)  
Join Date: Apr 2008
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Realism not knee-jerk outrage

Rideforever and others banging on about the A27. Seriously, get real.

Nothing takes away this was a terrible accident, but it is clearly very rare, especially compared to many other [avoidable] deaths that we seem happy to put up with. Crowded tube train platforms but no platform door installation (as per Jubilee line), pedestrians and cyclists mixed in with heavy and fast road traffic, &etc. We put up with the daily toll because of inertia and cost to change.

The approach to the main runway at Shoreham is over the A27 at one end and the railway at the other. In normal operations it is entirely conceivable that a pilot / aircraft experiencing difficulties could plough into either. Unlikely, as there are other choices, but still a non-zero risk. Personally I dislike being on short final over the top of a train. But this is the nature of very many airports in this country, often they started out in remote locations and attracted development around them. As someone else mentioned, look at the approaches from the East to LHR. There is a non-zero risk of a terrible accident in many of these cases. Kegworth air disaster - M1 - very lucky no traffic involved; 777 at LHR, very nearly didn't make it, that would have been very messy for anyone on the ground in Hounslow. Many examples of less good outcomes around the world.

So by all means learn from what went wrong and use balanced judgement about other potential risks, but knee-jerk outrage and calls to "ban ban ban" are over the top. There is risk in everything and sometimes it will bite. 63 years without loss of spectator or bystander, despite the loss of many aircraft and pilots, suggests that we have mostly got it right.
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Old 25th Aug 2015, 15:07
  #328 (permalink)  
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So by all means learn from what went wrong and use balanced judgement about other potential risks, but knee-jerk outrage and calls to "ban ban ban" are over the top. There is risk in everything and sometimes it will bite. 63 years without loss of spectator or bystander, despite the loss of many aircraft and pilots, suggests that we have mostly got it right.
Indeed there are risks in much of life. Some are unnecessary, though. Having an airshow at such an airport as this one is high on the unnecessary risk list. Apparently, the government aviation authority now concurs.
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Old 25th Aug 2015, 15:21
  #329 (permalink)  
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I have to agree Weeeee.

There are transport corridors crossing the approach to many many airports in the UK. At the airfield I fly from (Cambridge), the approach to rwy 23 crosses the A1303 (60m separation) and the approach to rwy 05 crosses one of the busiest minor roads in the area (again 60m separation), and the railway line (170m).

Aviation is in the position, however, of having an extremely high profile granted to accidents. This is possible only because of the rarity of those accidents. So, in one way, aviation is a "victim" of it's own safety record. We can afford to put the degree of effort into accident analysis and prevention because of it's inherent safety.

I wish we could apply the same degree of safety management to road traffic. According to the insurance industry, the average driver has a crash once per 17.9 years. That works out to the average driver having 3 car accidents in their lifetime. The scale is different. We don't apply the same standards to road transport because we cannot afford it.

None of that means that we should scale back on aviation. The CAA and the AAIB have their jobs to do and they generally do them well. Was the ban on vintage aircraft performing high energy manouvers driven in part by public relations - almost certainly. Was it justified - almost certainly. That I don't know the full background to the CAA's decision doesn't detract from my confidence in them and their decision making processes. Like it or not, public confidence is, always has been and always will be a factor that they need to consider.
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Old 25th Aug 2015, 15:21
  #330 (permalink)  
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Wow the CAA obviously do not know the cause! with such a specific flying ban on the Hunters it's more like they cannot fly until the aircraft gets a clean bill of health!

If no definitive cause is found does that mean the ban may not be lifted ?

I know when I was involved in air racing back in the early 2000s a rival competitor had to use a jet provost as his privately owned Hunter was not acceptable to the French in their airspace while the provost was acceptable

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Old 25th Aug 2015, 15:24
  #331 (permalink)  
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Good post Weeeee.

Aterpster, the UK authorities are well known for their often rapid and excessive kneejerk reactions to events. Seen plenty of examples in the past 14 years! When you see the carnage on the roads every day I'm surprised they haven't banned driving yet!
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Old 25th Aug 2015, 15:26
  #332 (permalink)  
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Planned Maneuver Redux

After thinking about what Luc Lion and Radix wrote and reviewing the video from the side again, I've added an orange line to the illustration to show a pull up not quite to vertical and a question. I suspect that what was intended was something like a "sneak pass", low and out of the north, presumably taking advantage of the terrain. Or coming south down the river might have avoided high ground or a built-up area to the northeast of the airport.

The roll following the pull up then has a purpose, which is to reposition the plane of the loop so that the pullout is along the axis of the show line. However, not quite reaching the vertical does reduce the apex of the loop and the roll uses a little energy, both reducing the altitude gain expected from a straightforward loop entry.

The other problem is that the roll puts the show line behind the pilot and the amount of roll required to align with it might be difficult to determine at this venue. (In the usual loop at show center over a big runway, orientation is not a problem.) In the video, it appears to me that there is a lack of pull initially on the backside of the loop, which might have occurred because the pilot was focused on looking for the show line.

If he did not have a problem with orientation, the runway was smaller than normal as another post suggested and he might therefore have perceived that he was higher than he actually was (given that your entry speed and initial pull is supposed to result in altitude margin for the pullout, you "play" the pullout to safely use up the margin so as to level out at the same altitude as the entry).
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Old 25th Aug 2015, 15:41
  #333 (permalink)  
Join Date: Aug 2015
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Height of entry

Reheat on - good post.

If you look at the video taken from Mill Hill, the aircraft dips below the level of the opposite hill, Lancing Hill, meaning that if both hills are around 260 feet (from the apparent place of filming on Mill Hill), the aircraft was at that point nowhere near 500 feet.
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Old 25th Aug 2015, 15:57
  #334 (permalink)  
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Hawker Hunter Manual Reversion

Hi All

During one of my flights on the Hawker Hunter I had a manual reversion of the controls. One of the two switches in front console just tripped off. This was due to a momentary drop in hydraulic pressure, luckily, i was flying loose formation.

However there have been such failures known before as displayed here ASN Aircraft accident 05-DEC-1955 Hawker Hunter F.Mk.5 WP118

I was wondering how and when this could be linked up to this accident. If anyone else has had such an incident please do post your experience.
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Old 25th Aug 2015, 16:54
  #335 (permalink)  
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With the greatest respect for those who lost their lives.

Also sites such as Biggin Hill (A21), North Weald and Duxford (both M11)
Well, that's Duxford screwed. Who's going to want to watch aircraft moving left to right and right to left with little or no deviation for four hours!
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Old 25th Aug 2015, 17:13
  #336 (permalink)  
Join Date: Aug 2006
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I am a little puzzled as to why so many people are subjecting the loop graphic originally posted by ETOPS to such forensic examination, apparently to determine the pilot's intended manoeuvre and motives.

ETOPS can speak for himself, but as far as I can see, the graphic originated on the BBC News website - and was probably intended to be illustrative to a lay audience rather than analytical.

But in any case, why is everyone assuming that the path as flown had a pre-planned purpose? Rolls, cloverleafs, passage this way and that way down the show line, etc.?

At this point, AFAIK, there is no information in the public domain either as to the state of health of the pilot at the critical time, or the mechanical state of his aircraft. It is entirely possible that the exact path flown is no more than a best attempt to salvage a flight that had already gone horribly wrong for whatever reason.

I find the compulsion of many people to treat a tragic accident as a sort of online puzzle increasingly disturbing. Sudden death shouldn't be an excuse for amateur hour, or a source of light entertainment for the uninvolved.

The wreckage is available, and hopefully Mr Hill will survive and provide information as to what went on. The cause will be determined by competent, informed authorities in due time, and at that point sensible conclusions can be drawn.
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Old 25th Aug 2015, 17:38
  #337 (permalink)  
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Forgive probably idiotic post. Did this Hunter have an afterburner? If so, would it be used in an aerobatic manoeuvre such as was being attempted? Would wet thrust have been helpful if it seemed like the aircraft was stalling? How long would it take to kick in on a Hunter? Indeed, was the afterburner alight (if it had one) when it pranged? Thanks for patience.
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Old 25th Aug 2015, 17:39
  #338 (permalink)  
Join Date: May 2008
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might as well stop talking about it then.

or people with a bit of knowledge on matters could try and discuss the possible causes and their own experiences - it wouldn't affect any AAIB investigation anyway. how about you just stop reading the thread and wait for the report yourself if you're that bothered?

foxenburg - I don't believe hunters have an afterburner.
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Old 25th Aug 2015, 18:10
  #339 (permalink)  
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Go and read the military aircrew forum then.
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Old 25th Aug 2015, 18:39
  #340 (permalink)  
Join Date: Oct 2002
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I'll start with deep sympathy for those who are lost.

May I ask those who know, was this a loop - because to me it looked like a half-Cuban?
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