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Shoreham Airshow Crash Trial

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Shoreham Airshow Crash Trial

Old 16th Jul 2019, 13:07
  #401 (permalink)  
 
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The AAIB may decide to assess whether cognitive impairment was a factor in the tragedy - a key feature of Mr Hill’s defence during his criminal trial last year.
Who made such a comment? I doubt whether it was the AAIB or the Coroner, so is this just some journalistic speculation?
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Old 25th Jul 2019, 03:03
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I don't know, but according to an article on page 42 of the latest Private Eye (#1501) it's...

"...the crash pilot [that] has now asked the AAIB to reopen its inquiry.

"Only days before West Sussex coroner Penelope Schofield was expected to set an inquest date, lawyers acting for the AAIB told her that investigators had been asked to reconsider their original finding that the crash had been the result of pilot error.

"Andy Hill [...] had asked the AAIB to look again at the case after he was found not guilty of 11 manslaughter charges at the Old Bailey earlier this year. He was cleared by a jury after arguing that the g-forces [sic] he experienced during the flight had caused a cognitive impairment -- not a factor originally considered by air investigators..."

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Old 25th Jul 2019, 10:04
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Time to shut down all the enquiries and hold the Inquest - you can see this dragging on like the N Ireland stuff for decades to the delight of the lawyers
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Old 25th Jul 2019, 10:48
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Quite right Asturias. Whatever the problem it seems inevitable that the lawyers will magnify it and prolong court proceedings.
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Old 25th Jul 2019, 13:02
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Originally Posted by Ambient Sheep View Post
I don't know, but according to an article on page 42 of the latest Private Eye (#1501) it's...

"...the crash pilot [that] has now asked the AAIB to reopen its inquiry.

"Only days before West Sussex coroner Penelope Schofield was expected to set an inquest date, lawyers acting for the AAIB told her that investigators had been asked to reconsider their original finding that the crash had been the result of pilot error.

"Andy Hill [...] had asked the AAIB to look again at the case after he was found not guilty of 11 manslaughter charges at the Old Bailey earlier this year. He was cleared by a jury after arguing that the g-forces [sic] he experienced during the flight had caused a cognitive impairment -- not a factor originally considered by air investigators..."

If true is it just me that finds this a little distasteful?
The pilot was acquitted largely because the prosecution were unable to prove that he had NOT suffered a Cognitive Impairment during the manoeuvre. Basically they couldn't prove that he didn't suffer something that its impossible to prove (there is no known test).
Should he just accept that he is a free man, and not cause even more misery to those who are left behind and are suffering?
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Old 25th Jul 2019, 15:16
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Quote:
a prominent QC. Try telling someone like that, that juries decisions are frankly random and arbitrary on far too many occasions.
I think most lawyers are well aware of that - they say you can't predict what a jury will do.
Having served on a jury, I have learned that I never want to be tried by one.
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Old 25th Jul 2019, 16:57
  #407 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Treble one View Post
If true is it just me that finds this a little distasteful?
::
::
Should he just accept that he is a free man, and not cause even more misery to those who are left behind and are suffering?
IF true, then I do tend to agree with you; on the other hand perhaps it's a sign of the guilt that he's going through that he feels the need to try to get himself absolved further.

Is what's being suggested (petitioning the AAIB to reopen an inquiry) even possible, or has the Eye got its wires crossed?
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Old 25th Jul 2019, 17:25
  #408 (permalink)  

 
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Treble One - you ask if anyone finds this a little distasteful, and you suggest that Andy Hill should just keep quiet.

I wonder if you were in court for the 8-week manslaughter trial. Experts there demonstrated that something unusual and, so far largely inexplicable, happened. The jury of eleven people took most of a day to consider their verdict, and were unanimous in their ‘not guilty’ verdict. They had considered a lot of complex evidence, which had taken the judge two days to sum up.

As you say, all the defence had to do was show that the prosecution had failed to prove that cognitive impairment did not occur. But, as the defence QC said in his opening remarks, the defence could, and did, go much further.

More relevant to this debate is that much of the expert evidence, both prosecution and defence, was in conflict with the AAIB report.

Private Eye (of which I’m a huge fan) is wrong in one respect. The defence adduced a cascade of errors, starting at a specific time and position, which could only be explained by some form of, so far unspecified, cognitive impairment. G-forces were only one potential cause, whether total or partial.

A glance at The Civil Aviation (Investigation of Air Accidents and Incidents) Regulations 2018
https://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/...lation/18/made
will show, under Reopening of safety investigation
18.—(1) Subject to paragraph (3), where, following publication of a final safety investigation report relating to an accident or serious incident, evidence has become available which, in the Chief Inspector’s opinion, is new and significant, the Chief Inspector must cause the safety investigation to be reopened.

(2) Subject to paragraph (3), following publication of a final safety investigation report relating to an accident or serious incident, the Chief Inspector may cause the safety investigation to be reopened for any other reason where the Chief Inspector considers it appropriate to do so.

(3) The Chief Inspector must not reopen a safety investigation into an accident or serious incident in respect of which the task of conducting the safety investigation has been delegated to the Air Accidents Investigation Branch, ….. without first obtaining the consent of the head of the investigation authority which so delegated that task.
I don’t think (3) applies. (1) and (2) are clear that the only person who can decide is the Chief Inspector, and (1) relies on ‘new and significant’ evidence. I suggest that the evidence from the trial is clearly ‘new and significant’. Are you, Treble One, suggesting it should be ignored?

As far as I’m concerned, having sat through most of the trial, there was evidence, presented by both sides, that left the AAIB report unsupportable. So I, for one, am not surprised that the AAIB are considering reopening.

airsound

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Old 25th Jul 2019, 19:15
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Thank you for that very informative post, airsound.
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Old 26th Jul 2019, 13:38
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Thanks for your informative post Airsound. I still remain in the belief that AH should let this lie.

He has answered his charges in court, he has been acquitted fair and square under the 'beyond reasonable doubt' requirement. I personally think his legal team played a blinder by introducing CI as a possible reason that the accident occurred, knowing that the prosecution were unable to prove it had, or hadn't.

Whether someome considers that this 'new evidence' (i.e. he MAY have suffered CI-remember there is no way to prove he did) is enough to reopen the AAIB report, then I don't know.

Perhaps though letting sleeping dogs lie wont necessitate questions like 'when did this potential CI incident occur'

Was it before he was too slow and too low entering the manoeuvre?
Was it before he failed to rech his gate height?
Was it before he failed to recognise this and failed to abandon the manoeuvre?
Or was it just before his jet hit the ground (whilst he appeared to be pulling for all he was worth)?

I have no axe to grind with Mr Hill. I know no-one affected either directly or indirectly with the incident. I'm not a pilot, (I do have a degree in biology). To me there seems to have been a lot of holes in a lot of cheeses lining up at the most unfortunate of times to come to the conclusion that CI was a potential causal factor in this accident, in a pilot who had not shown any signs or symptoms of such an in a long military, civilian and display flying career. he has also, of course, been through considerable physical and mental trauma due to this whole incident.

So thats why I'd move on.
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Old 27th Jul 2019, 10:27
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One imagines that the CAA and MAA have commissioned urgent research into cognitive impairment. Unless sufficient understanding of the condition can be gained for it to be screened for by aviation medical examiners or recognised at onset by pilots, a further tightening of display flying regulations to mitigate a risk of unknown probability and catastrophic impact would appear to be the logical outcome of AH’s line of argument. Unintended consequences...
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Old 27th Jul 2019, 11:18
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Surely the issue is that IF evidence led in the trial contradicts or challenges the AAIB report, this needs to be bottomed out?
Quite a big "if", and I have only heard Airsound suggesting it, but there can be no mileage in leaving any ambiguity where it can be avoided.
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Old 27th Jul 2019, 12:03
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Originally Posted by falcon900 View Post
Surely the issue is that IF evidence led in the trial contradicts or challenges the AAIB report, this needs to be bottomed out?
Quite a big "if", and I have only heard Airsound suggesting it, but there can be no mileage in leaving any ambiguity where it can be avoided.

Pointless - until his lawyer turned up no -one mentioned it & sold it to the jury

I think everyone who has followed the case has made up their minds and this is just another awful waste of public funds that will enrich the lawyers and defer closure for the families
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Old 27th Jul 2019, 13:46
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As far as I am aware the term “Cognitive Impairment “ was coined by the defence team and had no legal definition. The AAIB report ruled out physical impairment like g LOC on the grounds that the pilot was making control inputs right up to impact. So the jury was presented with this argument.

The pilot was experienced and professional
This experienced and professional pilot did something really wrong.
The only explanation is that he was “cognitively impaired”

Which explains every mistake any of us have ever made.

If I was Mr Hill, I think I would leave it at that!
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Old 27th Jul 2019, 14:48
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Timelord, nicely put. Why does my mind immediately go to a player bouncing his tennis balls......at what point was he "cognitively impaired" - surely not at the top of the manoeuvre, subject to normal 1g. If ever a trial convinced me that there were trials of technical complexity such as to need the jury replaced by "technical assessors/advisors" this was it. Just saying......
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Old 27th Jul 2019, 16:34
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Thanks for kind words, Ambient Sheep and 111.

Treble one, you are of course fully entitled to suggest that AH should let this lie. But don’t forget, an inquest is waiting to investigate this tragedy again, so it’s not going to be allowed to lie.

The recent ‘Norfolk’ high court judgement about the helicopter crash addresses the question of Inquests and AAIB reports (see para 56 in particular).
https://www.bailii.org/cgi-bin/forma...2016/2279.html

But anyway, I’m with falcon900 when s/he says
IF evidence led in the trial contradicts or challenges the AAIB report, this needs to be bottomed out?
111, you do go on to ask some pertinent questions about when the potential CI occurred. The start point was covered more than once in trial evidence. It was referred to as ‘Point X’, and detailed by some witnesses as time 12:21:49.
Was it before he was too slow and too low entering the manoeuvre?
Yes, it was before he entered the manoeuvre. Too slow? Expert witnesses said 300K was sufficient. However, why the speed was low is important. It should - and could easily - have been higher. Why wasn’t it? And (height) too low? It was not alleged at trial that he was too low entering the manoeuvre.
Was it before he failed to rech (sic) his gate height?
Yes. But the question there is why the aircraft was so low on energy. There was some strange flying and a lot of energy destroyed. Why?
Was it before he failed to recognise this and failed to abandon the manoeuvre?]
Yes - but why did he not recognise it? Over the apex little was done, either correctly or incorrectly. The aircraft did not seem to be flown with any intent – good, bad or otherwise. That was stated by very experienced aviation witnesses in the trial.
Or was it just before his jet hit the ground (whilst he appeared to be pulling for all he was worth)?
Whatever CI there had been, if any, was receding by then – no disagreement.
I personally think his legal team played a blinder by introducing CI as a possible reason that the accident occurred, knowing that the prosecution were unable to prove it had, or hadn't
The AH legal team did not invent the concept of cognitive impairment. I think you’ll find that the issues were well aired beforehand - not least on PPRuNe.

From the evidence of a first responder at the crash site - AH said he “blacked out in the air”. Either he’s a quick thinking liar, or is there something else? He was very near death at that stage - indeed, his life was only saved a few moments later by the quick reactions of another first responder. What might be meant by “blacked out”? A person will not necessarily know if he has been unconscious.

We shall see if the AAIB does decide to reopen their inquiry.

airsound
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Old 27th Jul 2019, 17:32
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Lets not relive the 22 pages of past comment please....................................
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Old 27th Jul 2019, 21:44
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Airsound-we are going to have to disagree on this.

For the record, I am not suggesting that the defence team 'invented' the issue of CI. It clearly is possible. In certain circumstances. My personal opinion is, however, that it would be extraordinarily unlucky and coincidental that it happened at such a critical moment in a flight, in a pilot who has shown no previous indication this may happen. Its just as well the boot was not on the other foot and the defence had to prove it did happen.

The AAIB report was unable to be used as evidence in the trial I am led to believe? In fact from the reporting I saw on the trial, it seems that the nuts and bolts of the whole mishap (in terms of the actualities of the flight profile) were merely skimmed over-which surprised me greatly.

As for AH saying he had 'blacked out'-well that could easily have been GLOC rather than CI. Again, its you bringing up the concept of 'liar'. I didn't.
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Old 28th Jul 2019, 08:14
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Well it looks like the CI might have going going a while.

Southport in the JP? At the very least he needed to have a good hard look at himself after that - or preferably someone else should have.

How about 'choosing' to do low level public aerobatics in a fast jet in which you have very little time or currency - a CI problem?

Downwind take off on the day - CI??
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Old 28th Jul 2019, 08:54
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Indeed, anything reckless, selfish, unprofessional or indeed anything that involves rule-breaking can now be written-off as a CI even when the individual has shown no previous health issues, felt no onset of symptoms and makes a miraculous recovery from symptoms when their life is clearly threatened.

The idea that evidence of rule breaking can become the sole evidence of cognitive impairment, on the basis that an individual would not break a rule unless medically impaired, is preposterous.

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