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

Tashengurt 22nd Aug 2015 20:46

As a non pilot who has enjoyed airshows for many years can I say that I'd rather see a display and not be wowed than not see one at all.
I'm grateful for all those that choose to keep old aircraft flying. I hope my son's will get to enjoy many displays too.
More importantly though, my thoughts are with all affected by today's events.
Many of us know that the ripples from such a tragedy spread much wider and flow much deeper than most appreciate.

BEagle 22nd Aug 2015 20:52

GeeRam wrote:

That photo also seems to confirm (if my eyes aren't deceiving me) the reports of the flaps being deployed at the commencement of the pull up and all through the sequence.....as shown in the photo linked by Glad Rag earlier and others taken in the sequence...........
Use of 23° flap in the Hunter whilst manoeuvring was quite common when I was taught ACM at Brawdy - just don't leave any flap down above M0.9 or you won't recover. Not relevant here though...

I think we used 320 KIAS and 23° flap for low speed loops - apart from my chum Ozzie who misheard the brief and tried 230 KIAS....once.

It would be amazing if the pilot survived this awful event....:uhoh:

I saw the RIAT Typhoon nearly spread itself in front of the VIP enclosures.... Not quite as bad as a CF-18 I once saw at an Abbotsford airshow, who recovered (just) at about 30 ft and was immediately told to depart and land elsewhere.

Woodford Spitfire, Duxford Firefly, Abingdon F-4, Sknyliv Su-27..... Too many vertical manoeuvres have resulted in accidents over recent years

Above The Clouds 22nd Aug 2015 20:54

Picture originally posted by Flarkey

There is a pic doing the rounds with what looks like a bang seat in the air, albeit on fire, with what appears to be a person in it. The angle it is at is consistent with the angle of the jet at the time and the canopy on the aircraft is up.
Looking at this picture the canopy is still attached and there is no sign of an ejector seat launch tube which could suggest there was no ejection sequence, quite incredible that he has survived.

God's speed with the recovery and deepest condolences to everyone else involved with this sad and tragic event.

Paracab 22nd Aug 2015 20:58

Cheers Above The Clouds,

That is the picture I was referring to; I guess everything immediately post crash seemed like wreckage amid the chaos.

Fluffy Bunny 22nd Aug 2015 20:58

The planes tv footage from the crowdline is pretty gruesome. It's well shot and has the aircraft almost full frame at impact. However, someone at planes tv is working fairly hard to keep all the "pirate" clips from out of the public domain.
The Daily Fail's stills appear to be either from the footage or from someone with a very similar vantage point. What they don't show however, is the high alfa and the rolling wobble as the inevitable becomes apparent.

k3k3 22nd Aug 2015 21:07

I saw this happen. As the aircraft was approaching the ground I could see the underside of the aircraft as it came towards the runway but still descending. it then disappeared behind the heads of the crowd in front of me, a second late I saw the fireball. Strangely, I heard no sound.

Hangarshuffle 22nd Aug 2015 21:48

Hope this is the end at last of vintage military aircraft and vintage ex military pilots doing unnecessarily higher risk displays over the UK. Needs to be after this year.
BZ yet again to the fire and emergency services involved for keeping calm and carrying on (bravely).

Fonsini 22nd Aug 2015 22:41

I just saw the aftermath video - cars on fire, wreckage - horrific.

Not posting it here, if anyone feels a need, PM me.

BlackIsle 22nd Aug 2015 23:10

So what exactly is the much mentioned concern about vintage aircraft? Is it age alone? Is it serviceability? Is that why this tragic accident occurred? Unlike Hangarshuffle, I hope very much that there will still be future opportunities for aircraft displays to include vintage aircraft.

There may be a need to further regulate displays but it is difficult to see how it is likely to require a different set of rules based on aircraft age. Minimum heights and types of manoeuvre may need to be reconsidered, regardless surely of aircraft age, to maximise safety at the display venue. If any display is flown, any participating aircraft can of course still experience a failure rendering it at worst unflyable, a pilot can make a mistake and a pilot can be incapacitated hence display accidents will still occur on or near the venue.

Hangarshuffle refers to vintage ex mil pilots in a manner which suggests some pre-judgement of them? I stress that this response is not intended to imply anything untoward in relation to yesterday's awful event, but rather to pick up on Hangarshuffle's post.

Romeo Oscar Golf 22nd Aug 2015 23:18

Shite Fonsini do you think we are brain dead or just stupid, Of course the aftermath scenes are going to be dreadful...we don't need to be told.
I've lost too many mates both training and operational flying and a few in display flying as well. I've come to a personal conclusion that, as has already been said, it's time for these super aircraft of our "better" years should operate as the BoB Flight. That is... show off but in undemanding profiles.... we the public will still love it.
I hope the pilot survives and then survives his aftermath and sincerly felt condolences to the families and friends of those who died.

Flugplatz 22nd Aug 2015 23:22

Same here, saw it but no sound. Just as they were announcing the tragedy (everyone was totally silent) and that the displays were suspended immediately, the Sea Vixen turned up and did a lazy orbit with the crash smoke drifting up. Chills down my spine from knowing about the fifties DH.110 break-up at Farnborough.

RIP all those innocent motorists on the A27

Romeo Oscar Golf 22nd Aug 2015 23:54

Sadly aircraft crash. This occurs irrespective of their height, speed, profile or the age of the aircraft.
I'm intrigued as to which part of the CAP you mention, may have been contravened.
Just in case you are not too sharp,when an aircraft falls out of the sky, the damage/fatalities can be horrific, or nothing. We live in a land with little "open country" so its a lottery.
More people are killed in road accidents every year,,,,,so lets ban private transport!

Homelover 23rd Aug 2015 00:07

Aircraft crash
Romeo Oscar Golf said " sadly aircraft crash". True. But , in case you're not too sharp ROG, aircraft are more likely to crash when they are deliberately pointed at the ground at low altitude. Like during air displays. Which tend to attract large crowds, which in turn increases the risk of a mass-casualty event. Just sayin'.

Davef68 23rd Aug 2015 00:19

You have to wonder about the mentality of people who post the aftermath videos on the internet.

Give the poor souls who died some dignity rather than being a freak show for the ghoulsih.

RIP to those who perished and fingers crossed for those in hospital - with that fireball recoveries could be long and painful.

JointShiteFighter 23rd Aug 2015 01:03

People have been discussing ejection again, which leads me to a question.

A couple of weeks ago, during the discussions following the Gnat crash and subsequent untimely passing of pilot, Kev Whyman (RIP), it was mentioned that civilian operated fast-jets are unlikely to have a live ejector seat, due to the costs involved in maintaining them, the availability of spare parts (which is a significant problem with vintage aircraft), the costs to insure aircraft with live ejector seats (not to mention, the problem of getting the CAA to approve it in the first place) and the possible lack of access to adequate training facilities to maintain ejection currency.

This was a civilian owned airframe, right? So perhaps the Pilot didn't have the luxury of live firing handles between his legs so couldn't eject after realising the aircraft was doomed, so didn't even attempt to (hence why the canopy didn't jettison).

It has been reported that he once flew Harriers operationally in HMF, so with a good background flying fast-jets, why wouldn't he eject if he was able to?

Rhino power 23rd Aug 2015 01:28

Originally Posted by JointShiteFighter (Post 9091595)
It has been reported that he once flew Harriers operationally in HMF, so with a good background flying fast-jets, why wouldn't he eject if he was able to?

Maybe he thought he could recover the situation right up to the point of impact, maybe he was suffering some sort of incapacitation, maybe he pulled the handle and nothing happened, or pulled the handle a fraction of a second too late (canopy was open/jettisoning in one image)? Only one person knows the answer, and I'm sure that if he (hopefully) survives his injuries and recovers, all will be revealed, until then, all this second guessing is largely irrelevant and utterly pointless*, at least until the AAIB release any details...


*In my humble opinion...

O-P 23rd Aug 2015 02:06


You mentioned that the loop in the Hunter was flown with 23 deg flap. In some early photos, the jet appears to have flaps deployed. There is, however, a photo (in the DM) that appears to show the aircraft emerging from some trees, nose up, and with the flaps up.

Very sad day.

Edit: On closer inspection, the flaps are still deployed. I didn't realize they were split flaps. Sorry for the post.

mickjoebill 23rd Aug 2015 02:25

Side view
This wide angle side view shows the angle of descent, including in the last few seconds an abrupt correction. (in the few frames before it disappears behind the chimney, hard to see on the first viewing)


McDuff 23rd Aug 2015 04:57

"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."
Thanks, LJ.

Barrel rolls have killed several of my colleagues; I hadn't realised that GW was exiting a roll when he ran out of air.

He was a display pilot inasmuch as he was displaying the Hawk, but I don't think that he had flown low-level aeros at any stage before that. Nor do I know how much workup he might have had, but his fellows on BAe Flight Ops were all ex-RAF and I should have thought imbued with the culture of proper preparation.

We were at Valley and Brüggen together, and I think of him often.


AGS Man 23rd Aug 2015 07:07

A very sad day and my condolences to all involved.
I personally like to see vintage jets flying and to those who say they should not I would ask how old are the Hawks flown by the RAFAT?

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