Go Back  PPRuNe Forums > Aircrew Forums > Military Aviation
Reload this Page >

Shoreham Airshow Crash Trial

Military Aviation A forum for the professionals who fly military hardware. Also for the backroom boys and girls who support the flying and maintain the equipment, and without whom nothing would ever leave the ground. All armies, navies and air forces of the world equally welcome here.

Shoreham Airshow Crash Trial

Old 10th Mar 2019, 00:13
  #181 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Thailand
Age: 77
Posts: 496
How was his defence paid for?Presumably the Hunter was insured for accidents etc?
oldpax is offline  
Old 10th Mar 2019, 09:25
  #182 (permalink)  
Just a numbered other
 
Join Date: Feb 2000
Location: Earth
Age: 67
Posts: 1,153
Originally Posted by stickstirrer View Post
Lightning nails it for me. One cannot rule out the ‘mini stroke’ thesis so CI cannot be disproved therefore legally only one conclusion to the charge. But....

First ; I know many ‘mates’ in current FJ flying practice who question the wisdom of long in the tooth and/or ex mil and/or non current pilots and/or those with little or no past experience of flying high performance older aircraft, FJ or quirky warbirds(FW109?) in public displays. Without many hours on the aircraft previously and/or current practice it is asking for trouble. Tightening the experience or training, and currency rules is an obvious first step allied to knowledgeable experienced pilot(s) recommending or amending over ambitious or risky display sequences. The CAA Display Authorities shoulder a lot of responsibility for their lax supervision.

Second point; AH regularly flew the JP, his Shoreham loop entry gate speed, min inverted Gate Height are roughly what you would expect to see in that aircraft. IMHO his cognitive failure, induced possibly by complacency, stress, medical problem or whatever, led him to fly the manoeuvre using the ‘wrong model’ almost to completion not recognising his situation until ground rush broke the ‘model’ . Wing rock in the last 100’ where ground rush becomes obvious indicated spatial awareness at the very end. I have supervised 6 Display pilots through the training regime required by the RAF and flown displays myself. I always insisted that gate speeds, (min/max) , inverted/ vertical heights , max speeds were written on kneepad for instant reference- where base heights changed during work down training it was imperative that no confusion could be made when adding or subtracting 500’ 1000’ or 1500’. In flying two different types with different energies and performance as a basic precaution I would have had those applicable to the Hunter immediately available. Any aerobatic display pilot will confirm that while awareness of display lines is important, the altimeter and ASI (energy management) are the most important instrumented aids- linked to attitude and horizon - to keeping safe. The ground has a high Pk, infringing the crowd line hasn’t.

Getting those parameters wrong from the very beginning at 1g was unforgivable if consciously ignored ;
understandable but negligent in preparation if ‘wrong model’ was applied;
and if medically impaired/ induced: God help the single pilot aviation community as a whole from the implications that this leads to...
For AH I hope it was this impossible-to- find-after-the-event TI because the other two explanations lead to an uncomfortable judgement about his professionalism. His very poorly flown Derry Turn at Southport doesn’t show me a pilot at the top of his game....poor horizon notwithstanding.
standing by for the flak.....
No flak! Absolutely spot on. Excellent post!
Arkroyal is offline  
Old 10th Mar 2019, 09:41
  #183 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Yes.
Posts: 236
Originally Posted by oldpax View Post
How was his defence paid for?Presumably the Hunter was insured for accidents etc?
I would think BALPA picked up the tab, for the legal fees.Just a guess.

Arkroyal. Ditto.
Dan_Brown is offline  
Old 10th Mar 2019, 09:44
  #184 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Sep 2015
Location: London
Posts: 65
Originally Posted by Bravo Alpha One View Post
Indeed, as I understand it, but in England the court can only consider the charge the accused is indicted with. "Not Guilty" doesn't mean "innocent", it means the prosecution has failed to prove that specific charge. Usually, the CPS will bring the charge they are most confident they can prove. If they fail to do so, because there is a reasonable doubt, the accused is Not Gulity.
This incident was a tragedy for everyone involved, but I doubt AH intended to crash that day. It's natural for victims to want to blame someone [same with fatal illnesses] and I do wonder what sort of posts we would be reading if AH had not miraculously survived [or indeed if he had ejected and survived - IF he ever was inside the seat's envelope].
Innocent UNTIL proven guilty is the bedrock of our criminal justice system.
Jet_Fan is offline  
Old 10th Mar 2019, 09:52
  #185 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: The Alderaan System
Posts: 7
Originally Posted by stickstirrer View Post
Lightning nails it for me. One cannot rule out the ‘mini stroke’ thesis so CI cannot be disproved therefore legally only one conclusion to the charge. But....

First ; I know many ‘mates’ in current FJ flying practice who question the wisdom of long in the tooth and/or ex mil and/or non current pilots and/or those with little or no past experience of flying high performance older aircraft, FJ or quirky warbirds(FW109?) in public displays. Without many hours on the aircraft previously and/or current practice it is asking for trouble. Tightening the experience or training, and currency rules is an obvious first step allied to knowledgeable experienced pilot(s) recommending or amending over ambitious or risky display sequences. The CAA Display Authorities shoulder a lot of responsibility for their lax supervision.

Second point; AH regularly flew the JP, his Shoreham loop entry gate speed, min inverted Gate Height are roughly what you would expect to see in that aircraft. IMHO his cognitive failure, induced possibly by complacency, stress, medical problem or whatever, led him to fly the manoeuvre using the ‘wrong model’ almost to completion not recognising his situation until ground rush broke the ‘model’ . Wing rock in the last 100’ where ground rush becomes obvious indicated spatial awareness at the very end. I have supervised 6 Display pilots through the training regime required by the RAF and flown displays myself. I always insisted that gate speeds, (min/max) , inverted/ vertical heights , max speeds were written on kneepad for instant reference- where base heights changed during work down training it was imperative that no confusion could be made when adding or subtracting 500’ 1000’ or 1500’. In flying two different types with different energies and performance as a basic precaution I would have had those applicable to the Hunter immediately available. Any aerobatic display pilot will confirm that while awareness of display lines is important, the altimeter and ASI (energy management) are the most important instrumented aids- linked to attitude and horizon - to keeping safe. The ground has a high Pk, infringing the crowd line hasn’t.

Getting those parameters wrong from the very beginning at 1g was unforgivable if consciously ignored ;
understandable but negligent in preparation if ‘wrong model’ was applied;
and if medically impaired/ induced: God help the single pilot aviation community as a whole from the implications that this leads to...
For AH I hope it was this impossible-to- find-after-the-event TI because the other two explanations lead to an uncomfortable judgement about his professionalism. His very poorly flown Derry Turn at Southport doesn’t show me a pilot at the top of his game....poor horizon notwithstanding.
standing by for the flak.....
No flak. You’ve nailed it.
Homelover is online now  
Old 10th Mar 2019, 11:22
  #186 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Mar 2018
Location: Central UK
Posts: 283
A question about use of flap.

My (incomplete) reading of the vast report suggests flap on the Hunter could be deployed to 38' up to 300Kts, above that speed it progressively stows aerodynamically but can cause slippage of trim clutches suffiicient to give control problems (I'm paraphrasing here).

Why then would AH have flown the bent loop with flap deployed? Do we know when flap was deployed? His entry speed gate was 350Kts, apparently well above the limiting speed quoted. Or am I misunderstanding something?

The test pilot who researched the bent loop also referred to flaps stating various 'notches' selected so this is presumably normal but no mention (that I found) made of the speed limitation. Is flap avaiable incrementally between 'notches' or is ir notch one or two only?

If you decided to fly the manoeuvre slower in order to make it more compact knowing the display area was limited in size might you extemporise by using flap and a lower speed?

Thoughts?
meleagertoo is offline  
Old 10th Mar 2019, 11:44
  #187 (permalink)  

Gentleman Aviator
 
Join Date: Jul 2000
Location: Teetering Towers - somewhere in the Shires
Age: 70
Posts: 3,373
Arkroyal
I’d say the prosecution lost this case rather than the defence winning it.
But isn't that how it's supposed to work? As has frequently been stated here and elsewhere, the defence have to prove nothing.
teeteringhead is offline  
Old 10th Mar 2019, 11:49
  #188 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Dark Side of West Wales
Age: 80
Posts: 98
Originally Posted by Easy Street View Post
This 'cognitive impairment' would appear to be a massive can of worms not just for display flying, but for any type of flying. As AvMed courses have long drilled into us, the human body is not designed for the things we do to it in the air. Displays are an extreme example, but even routine operations are full of potential for illusion, error and misjudgement. I had an instructor who reckoned that the successful pilot was someone who left the smallest proportion of their mental faculties on the runway.

If 'impairment' of the sort that leads to flying below minima and missing gate heights is considered grounds for acquittal from criminal charges, it rather undermines the idea that a pilot could be held to account for their actions. Some degree of 'impairment' can always be argued.

Besides, isn't being aware of the potential for impairment, and taking appropriate steps to mitigate, an essential part of piloting? Just the act of beginning that display was arguably reckless given the currency and experience issues.
Back in the day (40+ years ago) when CI was being researched and considered for inclusion in he Human Factors examination for Civil licencing, TIA's were not much known about then but Vertigo was ranked high on the list as a major cause of pilot impairment (CI). Vertigo is of course a result of a fault in the Vestibular System (VS) and can be brought on by something as common as a mild cold or ear infection. I am sure that many experienced pilots on here have at some time had a problem with their spacial awareness and particularly those doing aerobatics.
DODGYOLDFART is online now  
Old 10th Mar 2019, 12:10
  #189 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: Threshold 06
Posts: 372
Stick stirrer.

Thank you for that well reasoned and clarifying (for me) post.

A laymans view: Given an inability to 'prove or disprove' the TI theory it seems a 'not guilty' verdict was is the only one possible. I guess Mr Hill will be the only one who MIGHT know for sure.



oldmansquipper is offline  
Old 10th Mar 2019, 13:58
  #190 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: May 1999
Location: Quite near 'An aerodrome somewhere in England'
Posts: 25,432
meleagertoo , the Hunter has 8 notches of flap. 2 notches corresponds to 23 deg flap and 4 notched corresponds to 38 deg flap. More than 4 notches is unlikely to be used for anything except landing.

It was very common indeed to fly loops at lower speed using 2 notches - all students were taught this. Also in ACM we often flew with full power, one hand on the control column and the other on the flap selector as judicious use of flap helped instantaneous pitch rate.
BEagle is offline  
Old 10th Mar 2019, 14:09
  #191 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Yorkshire
Posts: 486
If you decided to fly the manoeuvre slower in order to make it more compact knowing the display area was limited in size might you extemporise by using flap and a lower speed?
Absolutely not. The whole point of the gate window and practice is that the manoeuvre is perfectly safe and repeatable. Start to modify it and it all goes awry usually with the inevitable disasterous consequences.
H Peacock is offline  
Old 10th Mar 2019, 14:15
  #192 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Brexitland
Posts: 1,112
Well said Stick stirrer!
As I said before, 40 hours on a FJ like the Hunter is not enough to perform at any show. The derry turn in a JP at Southport looked very hairy indeed. The CAA has a lot to answer.
Arfur Dent is offline  
Old 10th Mar 2019, 14:23
  #193 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: GLASGOW
Posts: 1,286
Perhaps simply, he was charged with the wrong thing. He still killed and maimed all those innocent folks.
No he did not. An aeroplane crashed in a tragic accident and people were killed and injured. It was the result of errors and events that had a tragic accidental outcome. I really do wish people would wise up a bit instead of trying to be simple.
maxred is offline  
Old 10th Mar 2019, 14:50
  #194 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Yorkshire
Posts: 486
As I said before, 40 hours on a FJ like the Hunter is not enough to perform at any show. The derry turn in a JP at Southport looked very hairy indeed. The CAA has a lot to answer.
I don't agree that you need that many hours on type to safely display an aircraft. The Hunter crashed because the manoeuvre was continued despite below the pilot's gate height/speed.

The JP at Southend was also very poorly flow, but that manoeuvre was a Canadian Break - not a Derry Turn!
H Peacock is offline  
Old 10th Mar 2019, 15:00
  #195 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: CYYC (Calgary)
Posts: 4,887
Do we know when flap was deployed?
Some flap was clearly already deployed on the way up into the loop:


India Four Two is offline  
Old 10th Mar 2019, 15:23
  #196 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: Near the coast
Posts: 1,611
Maxred

I’m not sure I can wholeheartedly agree with your post. I agree it was an accident. AH never set out to hurt anyone. However, I don’t consider him blameless.

I honestly don’t know what outcome I think would be just in this case. I don’t think I can get upset at people for being angry at AH any more than I can at others for getting upset at the first category of people. If the Defense successfully argued the CI case then well done to them. It clearly hasn’t provided the desired closure for many people though.

My second observation regards the quoted parameters at the top of the loop. Let me state that I have never flown the Hunter and have never been a display pilot. Most people know my background though.

If the 2600’ and 100 knots I have read above are correct, my mind is well and truly boggled. I realise a Hawk and Hunter cannot be compared directly but I find it hard to imagine ANY fast jet can complete a loop from that height and speed. I am happy to be proven wrong.

From what I remember of the fateful day there was no low cloud base to contend with. So why not ease the first half of a loop in order to gain more height and allow for a relaxed second half.

I know that display pilots can be purists at times but in this instance (displaying a legacy aircraft with limited experience on type) the crowd won’t notice or care if the loop is a little larger than the aircraft is capable of. They just want to see the graceful swooping and hear the engine noise.

Just my two penn’th of course.

BV
Bob Viking is online now  
Old 10th Mar 2019, 15:34
  #197 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: West London
Posts: 1,003
Originally Posted by Bob Viking View Post
I know that display pilots can be purists at times but in this instance (displaying a legacy aircraft with limited experience on type) the crowd won’t notice or care if the loop is a little larger than the aircraft is capable of. They just want to see the graceful swooping and hear the engine noise.
Indeed.
It was interesting by way of comparison to see that cockpit clip posted a few pages back of the Hunter display by the late Mark Hanna (I seem to recall Mark was on the last TWU Hunter course?)
GeeRam is offline  
Old 10th Mar 2019, 15:35
  #198 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Dec 2013
Location: Here
Posts: 30
It should be asked why the police/local highways/organisers did not insist that temporary traffic lights were installed away from the approach/display line so that safe traffic management could have been co-ordinated with aircraft approaching the field?
Flying Palm Tree is offline  
Old 10th Mar 2019, 16:15
  #199 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Feb 2019
Location: High Wycombe
Posts: 12
Originally Posted by oldmansquipper View Post
Stick stirrer.

Thank you for that well reasoned and clarifying (for me) post.

A laymans view: Given an inability to 'prove or disprove' the TI theory it seems a 'not guilty' verdict was is the only one possible. I guess Mr Hill will be the only one who MIGHT know for sure.

I can certainly vouch for a sudden onset of vertigo with no apparent cause. Last November I got up and attempted to walk to the bathroom; the room then spun crazily quickly resulting in a view of the carpet at close range. There was no warning before and I felt fine up until the moment it started. There is no way I could have controlled an aircraft while it was happening.

I am not suggesting in any way that that was AH's problem, it clearly wasn't, but I say it to show that the human brain can do some very odd things with no warning. TIAs have already been mentioned above. Probably the only way any form of flying can be protected from the hundreds of rare, but sudden medical problems that can afflict and impair us, is to have two pilots. If we want to continue with single pilot operation, I think we have to accept that every now and again there will be an accident down to a temporary or permanent brain failure.

In general, the aircraft are more reliable than a single pilot is.
VerdunLuck is offline  
Old 10th Mar 2019, 16:40
  #200 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Feb 2001
Location: Lechlade, Glos.UK
Posts: 676
A lot has been said here, some from me explaining why the jurors came to their conclusion. No blame should rest with them. However, having read the CAA report, not much has been said of the fact that he ran in for his loop at 100 feet, instead of the minimum height of 500 feet as prescribed by the rules. So, even before he had a chance to make an error, or indeed suffer an impairment, he deliberately broke the rules which probably contributed to the disaster. Or have I got that all wrong?
sharpend is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us Archive Advertising Cookie Policy Privacy Statement Terms of Service

Copyright © 2018 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.