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Hawker Hunter Crash at Shoreham Airshow

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Hawker Hunter Crash at Shoreham Airshow

Old 25th Aug 2015, 09:43
  #321 (permalink)  
 
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I see the Daily Telegraph are being equally daft at roling out "experts"; anyone know who Leslie Hatcher, 71, a former RAF aerobatics instructor is?
Roland, he's quoted in The Times too, spouting exactly the same nonsense. Why the broadsheets can't find someone who knows what they're on about is beyond me. Even the Currant Bun tracked down C***g P*****e who's a TP, has displayed the Hunter and certainly knows his stuff.

I'd have thought practically anyone on this thread could've provided a more sensible analysis than Mr Hatcher.
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Old 25th Aug 2015, 09:48
  #322 (permalink)  
 
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Roland

Les Hatcher is a former Lightning pilot who passed through the OCU in 1967 and subsequently flew with 19, 56 and 111 Squadrons
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Old 25th Aug 2015, 09:51
  #323 (permalink)  
 
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A reply to Roland Pulfrew.... (did you ever roll and pull through?)

Yes,

I knew Les Hatcher when he was a simulator instructor at RAF Coltishall in the 1960's when the first Lightning Mk1s were introduced into RAF service with AFDS & 74(F) Squadron.

Les Hatcher flew Hunters & Lightnings.
Many years later in 1981 he won the Wright Jubilee Trophy for best display by an RAF pilot, a fiercely contested award for RAF QFI contestants.

This is an innovative aerobatic competition in which contestants push their aircraft to aerodynamic limits but they remain within aerodynamic limits and RAF safety boundaries or face immediate disqualification.

Last edited by bigglesbrother; 25th Aug 2015 at 15:29. Reason: Directing response to Roland Pulfrew ...... #321
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Old 25th Aug 2015, 09:58
  #324 (permalink)  
 
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According to the Telegraph, the venerable Capt 'Winkle' Brown, who was there, is suggesting pilot error.

I suppose you'd have to call that 'expert opinion' - if nothing else...

As for Mr Sharp on the BBC interview, the least said, the better.
That's probably an indication of his ingrained depth of knowledge and ability to read the circumstances from the footage he's seen, however, we shall see, as the saying goes. I'm referring to Captian Brown of course!

FB
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Old 25th Aug 2015, 10:02
  #325 (permalink)  
 
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Hello Beagle,

I am also very surprised that Capt. Brown has suggested that pilot error was the cause of this accident.
I'm not. I hesitate to speculate but I'm going to. First of all credentials: During my time in the Service I flew about 800 hours in Hunter T7/F6/FGA9.

From looking at the various videos of the tragedy is seems to me that the aircraft spent a few seconds in the back-side of the loop when there seemed to be little or no pitching going on. It appears that there was some flap down prior to impact. It is certainly seen to be down over the top of the manoeuvre. Why would he have used flap while inverted when the need is to unload to make the manoeuvre as round as possible? Using flap in the pull out is not only not necessary, it exposes the aircraft to the well-known Hunter flap-trap. His speed at the bottom of the manoeuvre would I guess have been in the order of 360-400kts, more than enough for the flap-trap to have seriously limited elevator authority.

The pause in the vertical suggests not only pilot re-adjustment of flight path but also raises the possibility of G-LOC, the insidious nature of which I posted about in the Gnat thread. AH, with whom I had a passing acquaintanceship, is a BA captain. On which fleet I don't know. If he is LH, when did he fly his last trip and was he still jet-lagged/fatigued? One thing I do know is that things which do not mix with flying FJs close to the ground are fatigue, hang-overs, the after effects of minor ailments and medication but the AAIB will no doubt be very interested in all that.
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Old 25th Aug 2015, 10:04
  #326 (permalink)  
 
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I'd have thought practically anyone on this thread could've provided a more sensible analysis than Mr Hatcher.
My dear chap, positively thousands appear to have a go on a regular basis.
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Old 25th Aug 2015, 10:34
  #327 (permalink)  
 
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That's probably an indication of his ingrained depth of knowledge and ability to read the circumstances from the footage he's seen, however, we shall see, as the saying goes. I'm referring to Captian Brown of course!


But surely the point is that any such comment while AH is fighting for his life in hospital utterly uncalled for?
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Old 25th Aug 2015, 10:35
  #328 (permalink)  
 
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I have been reading this thread with great interest and amid the alarmist and disingenuous there are some sincere and well thought through comments. The part that I would like to comment on, and ask questions about, is the present regulations and guidance concerning display flying. I do not wish to point a finger at any one or any organisation, but to understand how we got to where we are and where we go in the future.
I have not been involved in the display circuit for many years and so am not conversant with current procedures. Many years ago the majority of airshows, particularly the large ones, were run by the military RAF/RN/Army. Equally, the majority of high performance aircraft were operated and regulated by the military. Over the past 25 years, due to a number of reasons, the organisation, control and participation has drifted into the civilian domain.

I was under the impression that a Display Organiser would be required to see participants Display Card in advance of the event. This would include Display Axis, Display Sequence, Minimum Heights, Gate Heights and Speeds. I understand that this is only true at the large events such as RIAT? I am led to understand that some pilots even change their display at the time or even make it up as they display. Also I would have assumed that proof of the pilot’s DA and currency would be provided. I would have thought that it was incumbent for any Organiser to in possession of this information prior to a display being approved?
Am I correct in the belief that the minimum requirement is for the pilot to possess a PPL and then gain a DA to be able to perform at an airshow? Am I also correct in the belief that to fly a high performance jet only requires a rudimentary (CAA Approved) workup programme? Once DA is granted, what are the currency requirements for each type of aircraft and how long does a DA on type last?

I am asking these questions because we involved in aviation in this country owe it to the public to be true and honest. There is no doubt that we all live in a safer society and expectations are that all is being done to keep us safe. The airshow world does not, in my opinion, stand-up well to close scrutiny at present. Mark Swann’s actions may seem to be an overreaction but I would believe that he knows that improvements have to be made.

We must be honest and do a thorough review of ALL regulations concerning airshows and display flying so that we can continue to enjoy our aviation heritage Safely for years to come.

Last edited by Dominator2; 25th Aug 2015 at 16:28. Reason: spelling
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Old 25th Aug 2015, 10:38
  #329 (permalink)  
 
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I'm with Wingswinger here. The Hunter did not appear to be pitching anywhere near enough in the third quarter of the loop. Now there could be many reasons why, including a technical snag or simply pilot distraction looking for the display line or dealing with something in-house. The pitch rate did increase dramatically in the final quarter, but by then it was too late.

Regarding the venue, some of the built-up areas do encroach on the airfield, but apart from having to avoid flying over the college, ie having to extend behind it or tighten inside it, it is certainly no worse than many other venues. Simply bad luck that, if the accident was inevitable, AH crashed onto the A27 and almost parallel to it.

It could well be a long list, but I fear the likes of Duxford and Farnborough are now going to have to have a long hard think about their display regulations.
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Old 25th Aug 2015, 10:50
  #330 (permalink)  
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Flap trap

With regards to comments about flaps and elevator effectiveness. A couple of notches of flap was regularly used during manoeuvers to increase rate of turn/decrease radius of turn. There was no problem in the use of flap during normal manoeuver speeds. The only problem came at M0.9 when the nose would pitch down and you could wreck the elevator controls by continuing to pull. The normal mistake was to have finished manoeuvring or run out of a fight with a notch or two of flap selected. At M0.9 you would soon realise that you still had flap selected!!!!!!!!!!!! Simply relaxing back pressure on the stick and raising the flaps solved the problem.
The accident aircraft would not have been anywhere near this speed.
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Old 25th Aug 2015, 10:54
  #331 (permalink)  
 
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It could well be a long list, but I fear the likes of Duxford and Farnborough are now going to have to have a long hard think about their display regulations.
A very long list, unfortunately. As a somewhat unscientific exercise I overlaid the position of the crash relative to the end of the runway (being unsure of the datum point for the display) over a number of regular airshow venues and in quite a few of them the impact was on a road or buildings. I strongly suspect that the 2016 airshow season will be much smaller than this year, and Duxford and Farnborough in particular will, as you say, be left with much thinking to do.
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Old 25th Aug 2015, 11:45
  #332 (permalink)  
 
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Air Display administration:

The airshow organisers would have a copy of the following:

Pilots Medical
Aircraft Insurance
Permit to fly/ Airworthiness confirmation.
CAA Display Authorisation
***The above is sometimes combined into a display pilots self certification, but even then dates and license numbers are documented.
Next of kin POC
Display ribbon diagram. (display routine/ notes / pictorial diagram)

A DA once issued does not require another check as long as currency is maintained. Minimum 3 displays or practice in the last 30 days. In practise, display pilots mostly lose their qualification towards the end of october after the Duxford end of season display. This includes BBMF whose aircraft enter winter servicing at about that time. A DA may not have been issued on the specific aircraft type so a JP Based DA could be used on the Hunter by a Hunter qualified pilot. This means that for example the RNHF Swordfish display DA may be issued after display in the RNHF flights Chipmunk. Essential as Swordfish winter servicing usually runs late into the spring.

IMHO the regulation in place was sufficient. It will be difficult to undo yesterdays regulation and will cost the industry operators / owners business. A Meteor et al in horizontal flight will not justify cost in anyones budget.
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Old 25th Aug 2015, 11:49
  #333 (permalink)  
 
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R4H,

Flap trap
With regards to comments about flaps and elevator effectiveness. A couple of notches of flap was regularly used during manoeuvers to increase rate of turn/decrease radius of turn. There was no problem in the use of flap during normal manoeuver speeds. The only problem came at M0.9 when the nose would pitch down and you could wreck the elevator controls by continuing to pull. The normal mistake was to have finished manoeuvring or run out of a fight with a notch or two of flap selected. At M0.9 you would soon realise that you still had flap selected!!!!!!!!!!!! Simply relaxing back pressure on the stick and raising the flaps solved the problem.
The accident aircraft would not have been anywhere near this speed.
Even one notch of flap could produce a significant nose-down trim change at the speed at which it would have been flying and therefore degraded the elevator authority. If AH had been subject to G-LOC it is possible that he may have forgotten about the flap. I only mention it because I experienced it myself albeit many moons ago.
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Old 25th Aug 2015, 12:03
  #334 (permalink)  
 
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Wings,

Even one notch of flap could produce a significant nose-down trim change at the speed at which it would have been flying
True, but that's not what R4H was rightly describing. With 23 degrees flap selected throughout the manoeuvre in question, there would be no 'significant' nose down trim change.
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Old 25th Aug 2015, 12:08
  #335 (permalink)  
 
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This means that for example the RNHF Swordfish display DA may be issued after display in the RNHF flights Chipmunk. Essential as Swordfish winter servicing usually runs late into the spring.
Factually incorrect. The RNHF aircraft are military registered and flown in accordance with the MRPs. Therefore a separate military PDA is held by RNHF pilots for each individual type.
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Old 25th Aug 2015, 12:11
  #336 (permalink)  
 
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Expert Opinion

I've been asked to do a piece for ITN re the Shoreham accident on their evening news to be filmed at Brooklands today (25 Aug). Given that I'm in the UAE, I can't do it. If anyone feels they can add some real expert opinion and can make Weybridge by teatime, send me a PM and I'll forward you the contact details.
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Old 25th Aug 2015, 12:18
  #337 (permalink)  
 
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BEagle, BEagle SHUN! One step forward, MARCH!
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Old 25th Aug 2015, 12:24
  #338 (permalink)  
 
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Hawker Hunter Loss at Shoreham Airshow

If LH is 71, then in 1960 he would have been 16. A Lightning simulator instructor? Something wrong somewhere!
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Old 25th Aug 2015, 12:26
  #339 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Grimweasel View Post
One photo quite clearly shows pilot slumped fwd in seat prior to impact. Could this be g lock where pilot blacked out? Do these older pilots still undergo strict medicals that allow for high G aerobatics? Same with Gnat in my opinion. Both crashed after performing high g manoeuvres. Look at Reds crash few years back. Same thing. Even happens to the medically fit pros.
Where did you see that Grim? All the shots I can see, the pilot is upright in the seat.
The wing drop prior to the impact may be due to a late pull, doesn't look like a deliberate control input, but that's pure conjecture on my part. The AAIB report will no doubt be thorough...unlike the BBC's reporting.
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Old 25th Aug 2015, 12:45
  #340 (permalink)  
 
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It's interesting that wingswinger mentions medical fitness and combining displaying with jets with a career as an airline pilot. Perhaps flight time limitations need to include display flying, I know this will not be popular. On the other hand the general public and CAA expect the crew of a commercial jet to be rested under flight time limitations, so equally the public should have the same expectations of a display pilot.

Likewise, should display pilots be required to hold or have held a professional pilots qualification (ATPL/RAF wings). I refer of course to the Hurricance that crashed previously at Shoreham, the Pilot (age 49) held a PPL no evidence having been trained in aerobatics, and oddly only a class two medical. Likewise there is a JP3 display pilot in the UK, with 500 hrs on jets, who also claims to have displayed the Hunter T7, again on a PPL, medical unknown. I'm not sure if this was the pilot involved in the Southport/Blackpool JP near accident? Unless I have my facts wrong, I find this a bit worrying as I would expect a 1500 hours of flying fast jets for a display pilot. Likewise in the case of the recent Gnat accident, the Pilot wasclaimed to be ex RAF, but never progressed onto an OCU, again I'm doubtful of his experience to display.

The display pilots on the Hunter for this season were aged 51 and 61, and I'm assuming held a class one medical. I just wonder how much is known about G-LOC in older pilots, when it's not unknown in young and very fit RAF pilots, such as in the Red Arrows accident. Without doubt both the Hunter T7 pilots are highly experienced, and much has been made of the pilot in the accident as being an ex-Harrier pilot. But, if he is a BA captain, based on seniority this must have been some time ago (15 years +) since he regular flew fast jets.

Finally, I'm not sure if anyone has mentioned on this thread the L29 display accident near Manston, where the aircraft also failed to recover from a loop. The Pilot was 61, he has flown in the Red Arrows but that was I think back in the seventies. I wondering if at the time if this flagged up any warnings, did the AAIB or CAA considered the effect of G on pilots as they become older?

Last edited by athonite; 25th Aug 2015 at 13:00.
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