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-   -   Hawker Hunter down at Shoreham (https://www.pprune.org/accidents-close-calls/566536-hawker-hunter-down-shoreham.html)

Liffy 1M 22nd Aug 2015 19:50

I photographed this aircraft performing at Bray in Ireland last month and my pictures show that some flap was used during some of the manoeuvres.

c53204 22nd Aug 2015 19:50

Are the flaps down in those pictures?

Wycombe 22nd Aug 2015 19:54

On the 2 pics in post #34 it looks like it to me. Look under the trailing edge.

effortless 22nd Aug 2015 19:59

I was seated at the other side of the runway. No fast jet experience but I didn't think top of loop looked that high. FJ pilot said he thought he was trying to spool up. Didn't hear the power increase. Road burned so won't open for a while. Motorbike fatality at the other exit so both exits blocked.

I've seen a few fatalities but this was the first one I've seen brew up. Absolute tragedy. I grieve for his family. They will be desolate.

effortless 22nd Aug 2015 20:16

I would like to add that, despite the media trying to get people to say how traumatised they were, the crowd was perfect. They were patient for five hours without complaint.

Piece of Cake 22nd Aug 2015 20:25

Just to add for those who posted about the aircraft's flaps being deployed, it is perfectly normal for a Hunter to display with a "combat flap" setting (of about 20 degrees) as this improves manoeuvrability at lower speeds.

Chronus 22nd Aug 2015 20:29

Flaps ?
Wycombe "was this a last minute action to try to generate some additional lift/recover?"

Swept wing stalls at leading edge, flaps would not have helped to recover from what at first appears to be a pull too early from an accelerated stall exceeding critical angle of attack.

Biggles Flies Undone 22nd Aug 2015 20:30

We were sitting in a pub garden on the opposite side of the airfield. The pilot seemed to be trying to pull through the loop rather than create a clean arc. As soon as I saw the low airspeed and high AoA I feared the worst. Probably totally irrelevant, but just before the show started my friend and I both commented on the very large flocks of starlings that were swirling around above us.

Machinbird 22nd Aug 2015 20:43

What a terrible accident. Condolences to those who have lost loved ones.
For the injured, deepest sympathy.

There are significant clues in the pictures and videos that are already here.

When you fly a loop and you start at ground level, which is what happend here, you must bank some excess airspeed to ensure you will have some energy left for the pullout in a maneuver which is essentially an energy consuming maneuver in a non-afterburning jet.

This maneuver required converting that excess energy into altitude, but that did not happen here. Shortly after the 90 degree pitch attitude, the aircraft rolled off heading and then pulled quickly to the nearest horizon. When the pilot elected to continue the maneuver from there, that created the accident.

It is very likely that the pilot experienced either a gray out or GLOC event during the climb phase. That would be a reasonable explanation for the strange events leading to the top of the loop.

Ive been burnt a couple of times while flying in airshows, and have subsequently refused to volunteer. You have to be completely on top of your game for them, and even then the fickle finger of fate can tap you on the shoulder.

The carnage in this accident is a sad reminder that aviation is actually a rather dangerous art that requires extreme levels of planning and execution to produce a safe result. Accidents like this one take the fun out of aviation.

Poose 22nd Aug 2015 20:56

Reminds me of the Typhoon near miss at RIAT in 2006...

RHINO 22nd Aug 2015 21:06

F4 Abingdon 1988

ALTSELGREEN 22nd Aug 2015 21:10

BBC reporting that pilot has survived and is in critical condition in hospital.

Shaggy Sheep Driver 22nd Aug 2015 21:18

Reminded me very much of the RR Spitfire crash at 1992 Woodford Air Show.

RiSq 22nd Aug 2015 21:23

The plane hit tail first and apparently the area in front of the wing including the cockpit broke away. Id still imagine hes in very bad shape. Few tastless videos doing the rounds now unfortunately...

puff m'call 22nd Aug 2015 21:47

Having been around Hunters for a large part of my aviation career I can say it's not uncommon for a Hunter pilot to use "1 notch" of flap for manoeuvring.

Unfortunately it really looks like he left it too late to pull out of the bottom of the loop, the engine was spooled up and he was pulling hard just prior to impact.

Condolences to all those affected.

Sunamer. Your post is pretty stupid! Aircraft are not allowed to fly over the crowd line whilst displaying but it's inevitable your flight path may just take you over a road.:ugh:

Arfur Dent 22nd Aug 2015 21:48

How much time these pilots get in aircraft such as a Gnat or a Hunter is interesting considering how expensive they are to operate. When they were in service, display pilots would fly many practices in addition to their other flying duties which was probably 3 trips a day.

Squawk_ident 22nd Aug 2015 22:10

Remembering Paris Airshow crashes


After the second accident (all pilots ejected and survived to both crashes) new safety rules were elected at Le Bourget to establish a minimal security height never to be trespassed during demonstrations.
What was doing this aircraft here and at this altitude for this kind of manoeuvring is rather astonishing.

Knife-Edge 22nd Aug 2015 22:20

It is not like there weren't options available
What were the options available then?

It's a very tragic accident, most probably because something has gone wrong, nothing in life is guaranteed, living is a dangerous thing, unfortunately you just can't completely sanitise the world.

Feathers McGraw 22nd Aug 2015 22:21

Sunamer, there was no intention to fly so low on the part of the pilot. That he did so was likely due to a miscalculation, the manoeuvre he flew was not a straight loop and this would lead to a reduction in the height achieved over the top and hence the lack of altitude to allow for a safe minimum altitude at pull out.

High performance aircraft are demanding to fly, the safety margins can be smaller than anticipated. In this case the investigation will be very thorough, AAIB are probably the best in the world at what they do. If changes are needed in display procedures and authorisations then they will be identified and made.

seagull2200 22nd Aug 2015 22:29

Much sympathy to all families of the deceased, and prayers and thoughts to those (including the pilot) who are still with us... but fighting.

Folks... I'm as keen to understand just what happened here as anybody else. I'm British, and having lived in Texas in the past, know a bit about what it's like to have acre upon acre of free land about which can be used to configure and set up safely away from people.

The reality is that here on the 'Moss Rock'.. we just don't have the space. Added to that.. we have a very bureaucratic and heavily regulated approach to what airspace we have, which I guess is understandable..

The points others have raised are all valid... it is an old bird, they were produced to be maintained wit no expense spared by the government, but that said, I know the levels of dedication teams of people have towards aircraft like these.

Time on type is another factor.. pilot age and fitness.. yes.. all to be considered.. and like many others here.. I didn't like the way this was looking from the vertical, just seemed to low and slow to me for an old swept wing jet.. but then I'm no expert.

What I will say is that in discussing these events there seems to be a constant pattern of members sharing views, others critiquing them harshly, a riposte from the poster.. and then leading to all out insults, offensive comments and impoliteness..... why..?

7 people died today. Every time we get in to fly, we are privileged to do so. Yes I get that our personality types likely mean we are forthright and assertive.. but any need for arrogance and ego... really?

Let's do the best honour we can to those involved in this, their families who may well be reading this tread, and in honour of those who paid the dear price... by being gracious, considerate and having some level of humility in all our discussions.


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