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-   -   Hawker Hunter Crash at Shoreham Airshow (https://www.pprune.org/military-aviation/566533-hawker-hunter-crash-shoreham-airshow.html)

good finish 22nd Aug 2015 16:50

Every injury and death is a tragedy and my condolences to the families.
However, to those calling for displays to be cancelled are you going to stop driving your cars? because lots of innocent people are killed and injured by cars by people making journeys in them for pleasure.

Two's in 22nd Aug 2015 16:55

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"Think before you post" is NOT a condition of the Internet, in fact, the very opposite is true.

Onceapilot 22nd Aug 2015 16:55

It was not "a loop".


Lima Juliet 22nd Aug 2015 17:05

Re: Loop

Looks like a 1/4 clover to me?

RAFEngO74to09 22nd Aug 2015 17:12

Very sad.

More close up pictures here - level just above the trees but must have still had a high sink rate.

Warning: disturbing close ups of some of the vehicles involved.

Shoreham Airshow plane crash as Hawker Hunter hits A27 as the pilot survives fireball | Daily Mail Online

TOWTEAMBASE 22nd Aug 2015 17:15

Hawker Hunter Loss at Shoreham Airshow
Good finish, how can you compare this to a car accident. It's just too common an occurrence now with old aircraft at airshows. Car accidents will always happen because cars will always exist, grounding these ac will eliminate them killing their pilots and others on the ground. Surely they can't fly forever. Thoughts are with everyone involved

McDuff 22nd Aug 2015 17:15

Echoes of Bratislava 99?
"Yes, sadly this echos Abingdon 88 and Bratislava 99 to me - missed gate heights are a killer as are loaded rolls as you go over the top. We nearly had one with the Typhoon at RIAT in 05 as well that missed the ground by 10s of feet..."

The pilot who died in 99 at Bratislava was a friend of mine. I never saw the report from the inquiry, but I understood from a fellow BAe pilot that Graham might have mistaken his line and taken too long to adjust on the way down from a looping manoeuvre. I didn't think that he had missed a gate, as such.

But I'd be grateful for a pointer to any report that anyone might have.

As for the Typhoon at RIAT, I watched that from the walk back to the car park; I've never seen anyone go as low as that and climb away again.


spargazer 22nd Aug 2015 17:15

woodford 91, G-ALGT

The Old Fat One 22nd Aug 2015 17:27

....your wild theories and demanding display flying should be banned, i would suggest you allow an inquiry to be held.
I think you can safely assume that there will be more than one...police, HSE, coroners office, CAA and a ton of representing QCs. A giant spotlight is going to be shone brightly into the world of displaying old aircraft and it is going to play out in the full glare of the media.

People died and it's 2015, not 1952.

RAFEngO74to09 22nd Aug 2015 17:28


Typhoon at RIAT 2005 - I was there - could not have been closer - spectator expletives at 00:58:


Arcanum 22nd Aug 2015 17:31

However, to those calling for displays to be cancelled are you going to stop driving your cars? because lots of innocent people are killed and injured by cars by people making journeys in them for pleasure.
Most of life in the western world is about minimising and balancing risk. By way of examples, a 70MPH motorway speed limit is set to balance reasonable progress against the risk of injury from an accident at that speed. However, it's up to you whether you travel at night in a rainstorm or wait until the weather is better in the day. You can attend a motor race which has crash barriers and fences, but you get to chose where you stand and the back of your admission ticket will say there is risk of injury or death. Similarly, if you attend an airshow the organisers will have a display line and the pilots should have display clearance, but you are assuming some personal risk. In the UK, in most scenarios, you get to chose the level of risk you assume in an already regulated environment.

It's fair to say that while the people out on their bikes or driving their cars assumed some risk of a traffic accident, they probably would not think it was acceptable for an aircraft flying for fun in an airshow was going to make this day their last. I doubt their families do either.

Whether you like it or not, when there are a few significant instances of aircraft accidents like this it enters the public consciousness and society will ask if airshows with private fast jets are an acceptable risk. I suspect the answer will soon be no and it should be left to the professionals. Not, sadly, that the professionals are infallible either. Which is unfortunate for those of us who want to see classic aircraft like Gnats and Hunters flying, but that's the way it is.

Indeed, even if officialdom doesn't step in, it wouldn't surprise me if there are legal & insurance ramifications from this incident which makes private display flying prohibitively expensive in the future.

I say all this as someone who had the incredibly good fortune to spend just under 1-hour in WV372 almost 15-years ago when it was part of Delta jets. It was my first and likely only time in a fast-jet and I will always remember the experience. Such a shame that the aircraft is no more. Far more of a tragedy for all of the people and families who have been caught up in this incident.

Lima Juliet 22nd Aug 2015 17:34


I was there and watched the sad loss of GW in Slovakia in 99. I also watched his practice the day before where he came perilously close to doing the same thing. He needed to unload as he rolled over the top and he seemed to do the same thing twice - second time around with tragic consequencies for both him and an airport workers wife who had been smuggled onto the display line. It was one of the hardest things to watch as the whole thing appeared to be in slow motion and I remember hearing him frantically trying to pull up as you heard the jet pulling to the buffet.

Video here:

I posted these words on this very forum a few years back and the great John Farley agreed with my analysis at the time:

"So in my opinion, what might have killed GW?

1. Not unloading during the roll over the top and then burying the nose when below gate height. You could hear him pulling through the light buffet to the heavy buffet as he realised he had run out of room to pull out.

2. I seem to recall that GW was not a display pilot but was the company roll-demo pilot/test pilot. I suspect that he may not gone through the same rigorous work-up process that a display team normally does for a pre-season display authorisation (I might be wrong on this though).

3. The Flying Control Committee (or equivalent in Slovakia) should not have let him display after his pre-airshow display performance (again, in my personal opinion). But that is hindsight."

Full thread: http://www.pprune.org/military-aviat...0-crash-2.html

I too have never seen an accident report to this tragedy, but having just watched the Hunter this afternoon I have had a horrible feeling of deja vu.


Lima Juliet 22nd Aug 2015 17:52

I think that this accident may be the beginnings of a change seen after the 1952 Farnborough accident with John Derry and Anthony Richards flying a DH110. That was the last major 3rd party loss of life at a UK airshow (4 times today's fatilities). Pretty much all of today's rules and regs in CAP403 come from Duncan Sandy's inquiry into the 1952 crash.

I must admit, as a Display Director, some display venues have made me feel distinctly uneasy of late when considering the local area at certain venues. Indeed I have displayed at Shoreham about 10 years ago and remember seeing Lancing College close by (the big imposing structure in most of today's tragic pictures) and thinking what would happen if I crashed into that! More recently, some of the camp sites and unofficial spotters enclosures that have sprung up around RIAT have also made me raise an eyebrow - they kind of make a mockery out of the 'crowd line'!

Accidents like the ones we have seen today and with the recent Gnat fatality show that the display venue either needs to have a more sterile display area (ie. not over the venue entrance and a major road) or at least to a higher height above the ground to give the pilot more options should there be an issue.

Very sad to see and such a tragic and needless loss of life, in my humble opinion. My condolences to all involved.


Cows getting bigger 22nd Aug 2015 18:05

From a regulatory perspective, there is nothing worse than 'uninvolved third party' fatalities. Politically, this event will make the Battersea A109 crash look almost insignificant.

So sad and probably avoidable. Adieu Hilz.

LJ, we crossed. I agree, Shoreham is not a great place to do a high speed display.

Two's in 22nd Aug 2015 18:19

1988 may seem like a long time ago, but over 70 people were killed at Ramstein because velocity vectors and sterile areas were not well understood.

JointShiteFighter 22nd Aug 2015 18:24

My sincerest condolences to the families of all who lost their lives today. It's horrible to think that, that could have been me as I would have needed to travel on that very road to get to the show (instead I decided this morning to go tomorrow, but I shan't be going at all now). I hope those who were injured make a full recovery.

As for the Typhoon at RIAT 2005, I saw the same display sequence by the same pilot just two months later (incidentally, at Shoreham). During his display at RIAT, he had the opportunity to pull the handles, but he didn't. I'm curious as to why? He got very, very lucky and I hope he's still enjoying his fast-jet flying career, a decade later.

Feathers McGraw 22nd Aug 2015 18:32

In response to JSF's comment, would a Typhoon display pilot have the velocity vector on the HUD and be making use of it in a display? If the VV is above the horizon it means you are going to miss the ground...

Above The Clouds 22nd Aug 2015 18:41


From the heat signature it does seem to be developing thrust contrary to comments elsewhere about a flame out.

Courtney Mil 22nd Aug 2015 18:41

But VV below the horizon does not mean you are going to hit the ground. It also can't tell you if you're not.

TaranisAttack 22nd Aug 2015 18:43

I was at the Bournemouth Airshow today, an excellent display was put on! Planes performing stunts near the ground, often in quite old aircraft, it's natural that there are going to be accidents. Lots of precautions are taken to minimise the risks, and the pilots are clearly very capable. We equally could consider the risks to life by having so many people, who are often elderly, out in the sun and at risk of dehydration and heatstroke. Or the risks of so many people travelling to and from a major event. The very small risk is the price of such an incredible show. Naturally my condolences go to those involved with and affected by the accident.

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