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Shoreham Airshow Crash Trial

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Shoreham Airshow Crash Trial

Old 12th Feb 2023, 12:25
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Originally Posted by Gordomac
but I stand by my view that Hill did not set out to kill himself or any innocent bystanders.
I don't recall, nearly 1000 posts in, any contributor having suggested otherwise ...
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Old 12th Feb 2023, 13:19
  #962 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by Chugalug2
...The elephant in the room here isn't pilot CI, or even what he ate for breakfast. It is the fact that he was flying an ex-military FJ that was already unairworthy when it received its permit to fly and remained so until it crashed alongside the A27...
Well, there are two elephants in this particular room. The airworthiness is a foundation layer root cause, but quite how a pilot with limited currency/recency on a high performance jet can end up in a position of publicly displaying said jet should also be a question for the CAA. Of course, because there are two elephants it's almost a circus, so the CAA are eminently qualified to wade in at this point.
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Old 12th Feb 2023, 13:52
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Two's in, I agree entirely with your point about pilot currency and indeed with all the many shortfalls that litter this tragedy. All I'm trying to encourage is more awareness of every factor involved and of how they should all be dealt with to avoid recurrence. Simply concentrating on any pilot deficiency merely gives those others who failed in their duties a free pass and more importantly the certainty of similar failures in the future, particularly of Regulation in all its forms.
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Old 12th Feb 2023, 14:55
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Originally Posted by Chris Scott
What about the manslaughter element of "gross-negligence manslaughter"? Does my argument above have any legal merit? If not, I suspect it would resonate with many lay people, nevertheless.
Intent, or its absence, is the difference between manslaughter and murder. Even lay people understand that, so your argument has no resonance whatsoever. Manslaughter very clearly means *unintentional* unlawful killing. Unintended actions can still be indictable where failure of a duty of reasonable care is involved, as it is with operating a vehicle or aircraft.

The fact that Hill didn't attempt to crash in an unoccupied area does not mean that he intended to kill the bystanders. (Had he tried to do something like that he certainly would have died). In the final stages he was taking the course of action most likely to avoid a crash, and very nearly succeeded; however the lack of intent to kill anyone else and the genuine effort to avoid crashing do not by themselves exclude manslaughter.
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Old 12th Feb 2023, 17:52
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Originally Posted by Easy Street
Intent, or its absence, is the difference between manslaughter and murder. Even lay people understand that, so your argument has no resonance whatsoever. Manslaughter very clearly means *unintentional* unlawful killing.
The Sentencing Council says this:

'Manslaughter is a crime that can be broken down into two groups:

1. Voluntary manslaughter - where the offender INTENDED......
2. Involuntary manslaughter - where the offender DID NOT INTEND....'

(See above) I was citing in the first instance the difference between negligence and gross negligence:

"Negligence is commonly defined as ‘the inadvertent taking of an unjustifiable risk’. Whereas, gross negligence is ‘a conscious act or omission in disregard of a legal duty and of the consequences to another party’. (Ormerod D. Smith 8 Hogan’s Criminal Law (11th edition))."

Logically (so doesn't necessarily apply to the law) to pursue Gross Negligence Manslaughter, one must first satisfy the Gross Negligence criteria?

It's certainly a difficult area, and legal opinion differs greatly. But, from the above sources, it would seem the decision to prosecute the pilot for GNM followed a decision by the CPS (?) that there was intent of some kind. All complicated by the sentencing guidelines changing in 2018. My brain hurts.
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Old 12th Feb 2023, 18:56
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Originally Posted by Chugalug2
Thread titles, on this forum at least, tend not to survive thread content, and later events and developments cause the discussion to move on. Thread drift perhaps, but tolerated by our esteemed mods and no more apparent than in that most celebrated thread of all, and now a sticky, that of obtaining an RAF Pilots Brevet in WWII. This one though seems obstinately to be obsessed with the trial that is the OP subject. I know little about legal process other than it be arcane and unpredictable but trying to rerun it in these pages seems to me to be bordering on the pointless.

The tragedy of Shoreham must never be repeated. There at least we are surely all in agreement. Aviation has a history of far too many fatal accidents, but each one is an opportunity to learn from in order to avoid repetition. There are many lessons to be learnt from Shoreham and professional aviators need to consider them all. Once again we find that many of the factors involved were not 'discovered' in the air accident investigation and it has fallen on others to expose them and seek formal consideration. That the 'authorities' seem reluctant to do so says more about our national institutions than it does about proper air accident investigation. The glaring shortfall on this occasion is a classic one, that of the relationship between Air Regulator and Accident Investigator. If ever there were proof of the necessity of a complete separation and independence of the two then it is here. Instead of hints and nudges of problems there needs to be outright condemnation of any regulatory negligence. It has been the curse of UK Military Aviation for over thirty years. It must not be allowed to infect our civil aviation as well.

The elephant in the room here isn't pilot CI, or even what he ate for breakfast. It is the fact that he was flying an ex-military FJ that was already unairworthy when it received its permit to fly and remained so until it crashed alongside the A27. Just as with Mull, the worst military example of this syndrome, we don't know if the lack of airworthiness caused the tragedy because, just like Mull, no-one felt disposed to seriously consider that. I find that to be the glaring omission in the subsequent investigations by the AAIB, the High Court, and the Coroner. That is a scandal in my view and will encourage repetition if not corrected.
the CAA and AAIB are separate and independent. Ilol have to check, but Im pretty sure his aircraft was on the civilian register.
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Old 12th Feb 2023, 19:02
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Originally Posted by alfred_the_great
the CAA and AAIB are separate and independent. Ilol have to check, but Im pretty sure his aircraft was on the civilian register.

It was operating under a Permit to Fly. Airworthiness was a dog's breakfast. The CAA knew SFA about the Hunter in terms of airworthiness. It was not certified, hence operating under a P t F. The MoD weren't much interested either. Both seem to have engaged in arse covering of the first order after the accident. Nothing to do with this accident, but highlights the general lack of competence when it comes to airworthiness of former military aircraft.
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Old 12th Feb 2023, 19:18
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Originally Posted by _Agrajag_
It was operating under a Permit to Fly. Airworthiness was a dog's breakfast. The CAA knew SFA about the Hunter in terms of airworthiness. It was not certified, hence operating under a P t F. The MoD weren't much interested either. Both seem to have engaged in arse covering of the first order after the accident. Nothing to do with this accident, but highlights the general lack of competence when it comes to airworthiness of former military aircraft.
well, then perhaps the military obvious answer is there shouldnt be any civilians flying former military aircraft?

out of curiosity, who certified the spitfires flown by civvies? Whats the safety case?
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Old 12th Feb 2023, 19:50
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Originally Posted by alfred_the_great
well, then perhaps the military obvious answer is there shouldn’t be any civilians flying former military aircraft?

out of curiosity, who certified the spitfires flown by civvies? What’s the safety case?
Spitfires aren't certified either. They are all (except the BBMF I think) operated under a Permit to Fly. Loads of aircraft operate in the UK without any formal airworthiness certification, as such. A Permit to Fly isn't carte blanche to avoid all safety regulation. Just means there is no formal certificate of airworthiness for the type. Examples of types without certification are all ex-military types, microlights, home built aircraft, flying replicas, paramotors, balloons, some gliders, and probably a few others.
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Old 12th Feb 2023, 20:14
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Originally Posted by _Agrajag_
Spitfires aren't certified either. They are all (except the BBMF I think) operated under a Permit to Fly. Loads of aircraft operate in the UK without any formal airworthiness certification, as such. A Permit to Fly isn't carte blanche to avoid all safety regulation. Just means there is no formal certificate of airworthiness for the type. Examples of types without certification are all ex-military types, microlights, home built aircraft, flying replicas, paramotors, balloons, some gliders, and probably a few others.
and thus unsafe to fly.
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Old 12th Feb 2023, 21:10
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Originally Posted by alfred_the_great
and thus unsafe to fly.
A bit of paper doesn't magically make an aircraft safe. Aircraft are safe to fly when they are maintained and serviced properly. None of the aircraft produced during the war went through what we would now recognise as the sort of safety certification used in civil aviation. Come to that, none of the gliders used to give ATC cadets their first taste of flying were certified either.

Doesn't mean they were unsafe. Arguably the safety record for loads of uncertified aircraft proves beyond doubt that having an airworthiness certificate is a marginal benefit. Plenty of certified aircraft crash.
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Old 12th Feb 2023, 22:44
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Originally Posted by alfred_the_great
the CAA and AAIB are separate and independent. Ilol have to check, but Im pretty sure his aircraft was on the civilian register.
So they say, ATG, but perhaps we should judge them by their actions rather than their claims. As AJ has pointed out, the CAA has been content to allow fleets of uncertified aircraft permits to fly. Unairworthy aircraft are an accident waiting to happen, putting one into the confines of Shoreham with crowds of unsuspecting spectators inside and outside its boundaries was foolhardy. That is not just with the wisdom of hindsight, it would always be foolhardy. It behoved the Regulator to assure itself that the aircraft was airworthy and the display safe, it behoved the investigator to point out its failure to do so. Independent, separate, or not, both failed in their duty. Why?
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Old 13th Feb 2023, 01:21
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and thus unsafe to fly
In the last 1,150 or so years since your days technology has advanced somewhat.
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Old 13th Feb 2023, 06:11
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Originally Posted by _Agrajag_
Arguably the safety record for loads of uncertified aircraft proves beyond doubt that having an airworthiness certificate is a marginal benefit. Plenty of certified aircraft crash.
A certificate must go hand in hand with a competent regulator. It is meant to provide confidence. If the regulator is incompetent what confidence can we have?
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Old 13th Feb 2023, 07:32
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Going round in circles.

I think we are all in broad agreement and just arguing similar points. From my personal perspective, the one body that could and should have regulated this whole sorry tale better is the CAA. Putting such an inexperienced (on type) pilot in the position of flying low level aerobatics for a huge crowd and over innocent bystanders was utter madness. The other points we can argue about until the cows come home.

BV
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Old 13th Feb 2023, 07:39
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Originally Posted by dervish
A certificate must go hand in hand with a competent regulator. It is meant to provide confidence. If the regulator is incompetent what confidence can we have?

Spot on, and in this case there wasn't a competent regulator. As it happens it most probably didn't play a role in this accident. The investigation has highlighted something known of for years and which has been kicked into the long grass. When an airworthiness authority disappears for an old type there doesn't seem to be a way to create a competent replacement.
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Old 13th Feb 2023, 08:15
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Putting such an inexperienced (on type) pilot in the position of flying low level aerobatics for a huge crowd and over innocent bystanders was utter madness
.

BV,

No one forced AH to fly this or any other display. The pilot must take the ultimate responsibility for accepting a display venue and adapting the display to suit the venue and conditions. If not able to do so the pilot should not "attempt" to fly the display.



That said, the whole "system" is totally lacking any effective control. If the CAA are responsible they must take control. With that comes responsibility. No hiding behind organisations, it comes down to individuals.


There can be no doubt that there are a few highly paid individuals within CAA who have not taken responsibility. As an observer it sounds as though there has been a lot of ducking and diving.


Tucumseh,

Whilst I agree with many of your questions about the airworthiness issues with some of these display aircraft they did not, as far as we know, effect this accident. As mentioned previously, when signing for an aircraft the Captain accepts that aircraft for the flight as planned. In doing so the Captain accepts responsibility. Despite all of the other distractions, AH was, IMHO, responsible for the outcome of this flight
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Old 13th Feb 2023, 08:55
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Originally Posted by Dominator2
.
Whilst I agree with many of your questions about the airworthiness issues with some of these display aircraft they did not, as far as we know, effect this accident. As mentioned previously, when signing for an aircraft the Captain accepts that aircraft for the flight as planned. In doing so the Captain accepts responsibility. Despite all of the other distractions, AH was, IMHO, responsible for the outcome of this flight
Responsible for what? The airworthiness of the a/c? How is he supposed to know if it is anything other than fully airworthy? That is the default assumption that all pilots have to make unless they know to the contrary. By your reckoning the Captain of the ill fated Afghanistan Nimrod was responsible for the loss of his crew and its grossly unairworthy a/c when it spontaneously exploded after AAR. Utter rubbish. Your 'as far as we know' is at the very core of this argument. What we know now differs from what we were told by the accident report. That has to be considered formally, hopefully by Hill's JR.
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Old 13th Feb 2023, 09:41
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Originally Posted by Chugalug2
Responsible for what? The airworthiness of the a/c? How is he supposed to know if it is anything other than fully airworthy? That is the default assumption that all pilots have to make unless they know to the contrary. By your reckoning the Captain of the ill fated Afghanistan Nimrod was responsible for the loss of his crew and its grossly unairworthy a/c when it spontaneously exploded after AAR. Utter rubbish. Your 'as far as we know' is at the very core of this argument. What we know now differs from what we were told by the accident report. That has to be considered formally, hopefully by Hill's JR.
Nailed it.
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Old 13th Feb 2023, 10:13
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Originally Posted by Bob Viking
I think we are all in broad agreement and just arguing similar points. From my personal perspective, the one body that could and should have regulated this whole sorry tale better is the CAA.
BV
Agree about CAA. The AAIB report left them without a name, yet they are now working together, with MoD in tow. Someone please explain!

But broad agreement? There are people here making assertions that are factually inaccurate, who persist even when taken to the evidence.



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