Sussex

Shoreham crash: Air show stunt and crowd regulations tightened

Crash site Image copyright Reuters
Image caption The crash site was littered with wreckage from the jet

Ex-military jets will have to perform aerobatic stunts at higher altitude and further away from crowds following a Shoreham crash report.

The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) announced the measures in its final UK air show safety regulation review following the fatal disaster in 2015.

It will also strengthen the requirements of post-display reports to "reflect the importance of feedback".

A vintage Hawker Hunter jet crashed on to the A27 on 22 August, killing 11.

Image copyright EPA
Image caption The vintage ex-military jet crashed on to the A27 in August 2015

The aircraft had been performing aerobatics at the annual Shoreham Airshow when it plummeted to the ground.

This year's show has been cancelled.

The head of the CAA, Dame Deirdre Hutton, said the measures were being brought in so the public had "every confidence that UK air shows meet the highest safety standards".

'Enjoyed by millions'

She added: "We began this review immediately after the accident at Shoreham last summer with the sole purpose of doing all that we can to make UK civil air shows even safer.

"It has been an extensive review, looking closely at all aspects of air show safety to identify any areas where the system can be strengthened.

"Air shows are enjoyed by millions of people up and down the country and we want them to be successful."

Image copyright Eddie Mitchell
Image caption Pilot Andy Hill was thrown free from Hawker Hunter WV372 when it crashed

The "enhanced measures" include:

  • Increasing the distance between the display line and crowd line at civil shows if they were "previously less than those in place for military displays"
  • Increasing the minimum altitude at which ex-military jets can carry out aerobatic manoeuvres
  • Strengthening post-display reporting requirements
  • Strengthening the "competency requirements for pilots performing aerobatic manoeuvres" in civil registered, ex-military jet aircraft

Display charges increase

The CAA said restrictions introduced following the crash in August would remain in place until the Air Accidents Investigations Branch (AAIB) had published its final report.

These measures saw Hawker Hunter jets grounded, ex-military jets restricted to fly-pasts over land and air shows subject to enhanced risk assessments.

The CAA also increased its air show charges from 1 April - by up to £2,695 for larger displays - to fund the measures.

Sywell air display in Northamptonshire will not go ahead because of the "likelihood of much higher CAA fees" and the people behind a display at Thockmorton in Worcestershire have threatened to cancel their event.

Organisers of the Manchester Airshow have blamed the timing of the review on the cancellation of its event this year.

Dame Deirdre said the CAA was working with the air-show community to make sure the "measures are implemented" for the upcoming display season and beyond".

The CAA is responsible for allowing air shows to go ahead and monitoring their safety.

Image copyright PA
Image caption Hundreds of tributes in memory of the 11 people killed were left on the toll bridge which crosses the River Adur

The victims:

Image copyright BBC/Sussex Police/Facebook
Image caption (Top row, left to right) Matt Jones, Matthew Grimstone, Jacob Schilt, Maurice Abrahams, Richard Smith. (Bottom row, left to right) Mark Reeves, Tony Brightwell, Mark Trussler, Daniele Polito, Dylan Archer, Graham Mallinson
  • Matt Jones, a 24-year-old personal trainer
  • Matthew Grimstone, 23, a Worthing United footballer who worked as a groundsman at Brighton & Hove Albion
  • Jacob Schilt, also 23 and also a Worthing United player, was travelling to a match with Mr Grimstone
  • Maurice Abrahams, 76, from Brighton, was a chauffeur on his way to pick up a bride on her wedding day
  • Friends Richard Smith, 26, and Dylan Archer, 42, who were going for a bike ride on the South Downs
  • Mark Reeves, 53, had ridden his motorcycle to the perimeter of Shoreham Airport to take photos of the planes
  • Tony Brightwell, 53, from Hove was an aircraft enthusiast and had learnt to fly at Shoreham airfield
  • Mark Trussler, 54, is thought to have been riding his motorcycle on the A27
  • Daniele Polito was travelling in the same car as Mr Jones
  • Graham Mallinson, 72, from Newick, was a keen photographer and retired engineer

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