Investigators: U.K. Airshows Need More Oversight
When a Hawker Hunter crashed during last summer's Shoreham Airshow in the U.K., killing 11 people, show officials didn't know what maneuvers the vintage jet would be performing, investigators found. The jet crashed into a group of cars on a road during an aerobatic maneuver and burst into flames. The Air Accidents Investigation Branch did not yet state a cause for the crash, but found that organizers didn't know the pilot's intentions and did not conduct a risk assessment, according to the BBC's analysis of the findings. The Shoreham Airshow issued a statement that the branch's finding "reflects our assertions that we, as the flying display organisers, complied with the existing Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) CAP 403 regulations" and that "we are confident that we made every effort to follow the CAA's guidance," the BBC reported.
The pilot, Andy Hill, a British Airways pilot and former RAF Harrier pilot, was seriously injured in the crash and recovered in the hospital. The AAIB's report said that at a different event in 2014, an airshow director was concerned over a flight Hill was conducting and cut it short. It also included 14 recommendations to improve safety and regulations for airshows, and said the CAA should "introduce a process to immediately suspend the Display Authorisation of a pilot whose competence is in doubt, pending investigation of the occurrence," according to the BBC report.