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Shoreham Airshow Crash Trial

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Shoreham Airshow Crash Trial

Old 8th Mar 2019, 10:07
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Shoreham Airshow Crash Trial

Andrew Hill has been found Not Guilty by the jury on all counts.
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9th Feb 2023, 08:50
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Originally Posted by mike rondot
No he didn't, he pleaded Not Guilty and his artful brief got him off on the novel defence of a brain fart that baffled the brain(s) of the jury.
Your endless arguments about airworthiness indicate that you might not understand the difference between serviceability and airworthiness, and give me the impression that you are apologising for the pilot and attempting to shift the blame for the fatalities onto others.
In case you did not know, the captain of an aircraft is responsible for deciding whether the aircraft is serviceable and fit to continue on its planned flight. If he decides it is not serviceable, he always has the immediate option of discontinuing his mission and landing at the nearest suitable airfield. All other arguments about airworthiness or maintenance or management are irrelevant and serve only to fog the primary issue. This captain decided to continue with his routine when inverted at the top of a looping manoeuvre.
It is sometimes better to read the facts.

The pilot pleaded not guilty to gross negligence manslaughter. He admitted the errors in the manouevre, but couldn't explain them except for the CI defence. These are quite different issues and it is disingenuous to conflate them.

You criticise me for 'endless' arguments. Two things must then be true:

1. Given my arguments have been proven valid in legal reviews and in courts, but the failings are still recurring, then those responsible are still not doing their job, but still making false declarations that they are. Do you have a similar pop at those responsible for that? If not, please tell us why. If you have, I'd be interested in their reply.

2. As you say 'endless', that implies you have read some of my posts, which will have revealed I know the difference between attaining and maintaining airworthiness, serviceability, and fitness for purpose; and how to do all four in practice; and on both aircraft and equipment. I can only infer, therefore, you believe it acceptable that the accident aircraft should not have been flying, but was declared airworthy, etc. If you do not think that a mitigating factor, even if the pilot were found guilty, then you are entitled to your opinion.

I have never commented on the airmanship aspects of the flight. I am in no position to. But I certainly do not think it reasonable that Mr Hill should have been expected to know, for example, that his master airspeed indicator and g-meter were unserviceable, and the fuel pump diaphragm rotted, if this was not declared to him. And how many pilots here can honestly say they could look at the Airworthiness Approval Note (reproduced by the AAIB) and realise that it was based on an entirely false premise (a premise that was NEVER true, even when in military service), and so there could be no airworthiness or serviceability audit trail? I'd hazard a guess very few. Similarly, the CAA and MoD didn't spot it; and if the AAIB did, they didn't say anything, yet pointed out other reasons why it wasn't airworthy. Have you written to the regulator to ask why they issued such an Approval Note, and if they have checked others to see if it's a widespread cockup?

There have been many threads here over the years that have revealed the same thing. Chinook ZD576. Nimrod XV230. Tornado ZG710. Sea Kings XV650 & 704. Hawk XX177. Hercules XV179. Not one of them airworthy, to varying degrees, yet false declarations made to the pilots that they were. (The Sea Kings were the closest, and ironically that is the only one where the Board of Inquiry spelt it out in detail). Only in the Chinook case is it known the aircraft captain suspected as much, but was in no position to prove it. In EACH case others met their duty and reported the failures, but their concerns were rejected. Have you had a pop at those who decided to lie to aircrew and passengers, or those who knew but did not report it? Their names are known in each case. Write to them and again let us know what they say. I'm not sure they'll give you the courtesy of a reply, as I do.
Old 8th Mar 2019, 10:11
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That is very welcome news.
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Old 8th Mar 2019, 10:18
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Interesting result considering the past.
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Old 8th Mar 2019, 10:18
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So, what did cause the accident?

OAP
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Old 8th Mar 2019, 10:19
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This verdict does not of course preclude the families of those killed from bringing a civil claim for damages (although as with many such claims it would really be a claim against the insurers of Hill and the airshow, since both pilot and airshow presumably had public liability insurance.)
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Old 8th Mar 2019, 10:19
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It goes to show the validity of not compromising a trial with foregone conclusions. I think a lot of people were expecting it to be an open and shut case. However, when all is laid bare and argued through, many other facets appear!

FB
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Old 8th Mar 2019, 10:21
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Interesting verdict as it seems to go against some thoughts about the accident flight and prior non-accident flights, is this a convenient verdict to underline the apparent knee-jerk reactions of the CAA?
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Old 8th Mar 2019, 10:27
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An interesting result, and not what I was expecting from what I've read here. I will be interested to see what detail emerges from the trial. Have to agree with OAP on this one, and I suspect there will be more action to come.
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Old 8th Mar 2019, 10:30
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As ABC has said this is very very welcome news.
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Old 8th Mar 2019, 10:34
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I think it's important here to bear in mind what this means. This was a criminal trial, to the criminal standard of proof ('beyond reasonable doubt') and to the test used for gross negligence manslaughter, i.e. that the defendant was not just negligent but fell far below the standard expected of someone in his position. No doubt the judge will have directed the jury in terms similar to those approved by the Court of Appeal in the 2016 case R (on the application of Oliver) v Director of Public Prosecution:

"A proper direction to the jury on the issue of gross negligence was held in that case to be that they should be sure that the conduct in question was something ‘truly exceptionally bad and which showed a departure from the standard to be expected’ so as to constitute the very serious crime of manslaughter. The bar is thus set high: perhaps unsurprisingly so, given that such cases ordinarily involve no criminal intent."

An acquittal means that the jury were not satisfied, beyond reasonable doubt, that the crash was caused by Hill's flying being so bad as to meet that test.
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Old 8th Mar 2019, 10:34
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12 "Good men and True" who know nothing about display flying. What verdict did we expect? "Proof beyond reasonable doubt" can be a hard taskmaster. Have to agree with OAP - what caused a perfectly serviceable fighter aircraft to crash whilst carrying out low level aerobatic manoeuvres? After all the pilot had 40 hours on type which was enough for the CAA to grant a PDA. Phew!!
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Old 8th Mar 2019, 10:37
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Whilst I'm not wishing any ill to Mr Hill (who has of course the consequences of this to live with for the rest of his days), I'm very surprised at the result based on the facts of the AAIB report. I think its good news for display pilots. I'd heard some dark rumours about the consequences of a guilty verdict in this case.
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Old 8th Mar 2019, 10:39
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Beyond reasonable doubt. The Jury thought that it was not, so made their judgement accordingly. Civil actions, if they happen will be less restricted in this score.
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Old 8th Mar 2019, 10:45
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Shoreham Airshow pilot acquitted over crash deaths

Originally Posted by MPN11
An interesting result, and not what I was expecting from what I've read here. I will be interested to see what detail emerges from the trial. Have to agree with OAP on this one, and I suspect there will be more action to come.
Don't believe then what you read on a rumour network with plenty of armchair lawyers, armchair QC's, plus armchair judges and jury !

The Court was not there to decide what caused the accident - That is the AAIB's job.

From BBC news-
Pilot Andrew Hill has been found not guilty of manslaughter over the Shoreham Airshow crash, in which 11 men died.
Mr Hill's ex-military Hawker Hunter jet crashed on to the A27 in Sussex on 22 August 2015.
The ex-RAF pilot denied deliberately committing to a loop manoeuvre despite flying too low and too slow.
Karim Khalil QC, defending, argued Mr Hill had been suffering from "cognitive impairment" when the jet crashed.
Mr Hill was also formally found not guilty of a count that was not put in front of the jury of negligently or recklessly endangering the safety of an aircraft.



The Coroner has to now decide on how the victims died and give her verdict.
She stated that a pre-inquest review into the 11 deaths following the Shoreham air crash due to take place on Monday 26 March 2018 has been postponed.
West Sussex Senior Coroner Penelope Schofield has taken the decision following the CPS decision to bring charges against the pilot. The Coroner set the next review for Friday 22 February 2019, to allow for the criminal proceedings but due to the nature of the charges, the full inquest must now await the conclusion of the criminal case. The Coroner has said she does not anticipate the full inquest will take place until mid to late 2019 and will continue to keep the matter under review to ensure that the inquests take place as soon as is reasonably possible.
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Old 8th Mar 2019, 10:47
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Originally Posted by Arfur Dent
12 "Good men and True" who know nothing about display flying.
But also 12 “Good men and true” who were actually in court and heard all the evidence presented.....
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Old 8th Mar 2019, 10:50
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BBC reporting jury were told “that it must decide if the prosecution had proved cognitive impairment had not affected Mr Hill during the flight”

Of course the answer is 42.....

...(Hitchhikers guide reference to the question-the answer to everything)

Last edited by weemonkey; 9th Mar 2019 at 09:27.
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Old 8th Mar 2019, 10:51
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Point well made Wiggy…...
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Old 8th Mar 2019, 10:52
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The whole premise of aviation safety is acknowledging that human beings make mistakes. This pilot undoubtedly did that, but if every mistake that led to a fatality was followed by criminal prosecution; what would that do to our hard won safety culture. I hold no brief for Mr Hill but I am happy with the result for the sake of every pilot, controller and engineer in the business. In my view the most worrying aspect of this accident was the display authorisation “process”.
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Old 8th Mar 2019, 10:53
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Originally Posted by Onceapilot
So, what did cause the accident?

OAP
You are completely missing the point!

Gross negligence was not proved beyond a reasonable doubt so he was, quite correctly, found not guilty.
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Old 8th Mar 2019, 10:55
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With respect to the BBC, the Defendant's barrister does not have to prove anything; only to introduce sufficient evidence that there is a possibility of something that undermines the prosecution.
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