Aircraft crash at Shoreham air show

I am close to Chichester harbour, and I see Spitfires doing aeros over land and sea, along with the occasional Mustang and Harvards.

Those are Boultbee's aircraft out of Goodwood. They train warbird pilots and have twin seat Spitfires and a Mustang. The sporty stuff tends to be over the water along the Emsworth Harbour to Chichester Harbour axis. There is the runway at Thorney in extremis too. Siting having a beer on the front of the sailing club on Thorney often sees a nice impromptu display.
 

mercurydancer

LE
Book Reviewer
From a legal point of view this is going to be interesting. I imagine that the victim's families are going to go to law over this. I would.

Negligence? Possible. The flight plans and environment may be seen to be inherently unsafe. I'm not comparing it to 27R at Heathrow or anything like it, or even saying that the airshow site is unsafe, but it would be a line of legal inquiry. It is possible that the pilot may be found negligent if it is found he misjudged the manoeuvre, but I think its very unlikely.

Insurance? The air show insurance will possibly not cover the actual costs. If anything stops or limits air shows it wont be public outcry or inquiry it will be that the insurance costs could escalate to such an extent that it wont be possible to insure an airshow.
 

mercurydancer

LE
Book Reviewer
Whilst I am cogitating (its not rude or unhygienic) the line of discussion about road accidents being a major cause of death against air crashes ignores one fundamental point about risk. With a car crash, there can be several casualties. Its not often that many. One or two per fatal crash. The likelihood of a car crash causing a fatality is obviously (and regrettably) higher than an air crash, but the severity of a Hawker Hunter laden with avgas crashing onto a busy road is going to be far far higher than a road crash. In fact I am very surprised that it was only 20 dead.

My thoughts go out to the pilot. If he survives, and I hope he does, then he will have the living hell of the inquiry (coroner/possible public inquiry/legal challenges to go through) all knowing that he ended the lives of 20 people.
 
My thoughts go out to the pilot. If he survives, and I hope he does, then he will have the living hell of the inquiry (coroner/possible public inquiry/legal challenges to go through) all knowing that he ended the lives of 20 people.
While all are hugely upset at the tragic loss of life, and grief of family and friends, I am sure many will be echoing your sentiments here.
 
While all are hugely upset at the tragic loss of life, and grief of family and friends, I am sure many will be echoing your sentiments here.
They are correct sentiments. Not like the Griefwhorefest that's happening down there at the moment sadly.
One of the Mods called it "Recreational Grieving" which I think sums it up perfectly.
 
He wasn't, his manoeuvre was over the airfield / Runway, which is where most manoeuvres are carried out in order for max crowd benefit. But more to the point you appear to be condemning a man who has not only conducted his hobby within the constraints of the law but also seeks additional permissions to do so.

Planes unlike cars don't quickly coast to a stop in the event the engine stops, nor (save a few examples) is a fast jet capable of conducting a 3 point turn at the end of each manoeuvre in order to stay within the airfield perimeter.

In this case something went tragically wrong and the Pilot was unable to recover from a manoeuvre, his trajectory* at this point unfortunately took him onto a busy road.

Personally given how well regulated aviation is in the UK and how low the odds are of such an accident, I think calls for banning are a bit OTT. I also see it as the thin end of a very large wedge.

I don't like horses - they can panic bolt and cause accidents - since nobody should be at risk from somebody else's hobby - horse riding should be banned.
4x4s are not exactly pedestrian friendly so 4x4s and green laning should be banned.
Fox hunting means horses and dogs hurtling around the countryside, somebody could be hurt lets ban fox hunting ( Yes I know but be honest Safety and welfare didn't come into it, it was all down to class warfare and a perception fox hunters were all Tory Toffs / Hooray Henry types).




* Chosen rather than flight path to further highlight despite some uninformed experts in the media it was not planned to be that close whilst that low to the road.
 
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Which I why I think we will no longer see fast jets being permitted to do aerobatics in UK airspace.
The argument that fast jets are unable to manouvere to stay within the airfield footprint will see short shrift at an enquiry. It would be like me arguing that as there were no speed limits on Britains motorways and cross ply tyres were the norm when my old sports car was registered, I should be allowed to cut about without regard to modern limits and norms to 'recapture the spirit' of my car.
However, I can't, and I have to play by today's rules, complete with fireproof overalls and skid lids and all the catch fences and barriers on closed track days, and pedestrian speeds on public display days.
 
Which I why I think we will no longer see fast jets being permitted to do aerobatics in UK airspace.
The argument that fast jets are unable to manouvere to stay within the airfield footprint will see short shrift at an enquiry. It would be like me arguing that as there were no speed limits on Britains motorways and cross ply tyres were the norm when my old sports car was registered, I should be allowed to cut about without regard to modern limits and norms to 'recapture the spirit' of my car.
However, I can't, and I have to play by today's rules, complete with fireproof overalls and skid lids and all the catch fences and barriers on closed track days, and pedestrian speeds on public display days.
I see your point but I would contend that the aircraft are already not permitted to cut about as they were and have to conform to modern rules.

I think there's a good argument to move all future displays over water, Im far less convinced that we should ban an activity enjoyed by many on the basis that the UK has suffered an improbable accident however tragic.
 
I see your point but I would contend that the aircraft are already not permitted to cut about as they were and have to conform to modern rules.

I think there's a good argument to move all future displays over water, Im far less convinced that we should ban an activity enjoyed by many on the basis that the UK has suffered an improbable accident however tragic.

I was a rather accomplished pistol shot, but thanks to one man going Tonto and slaughtering a bunch of kids, my pistols were turned into slag despite it being statically one of the safest pastimes in the UK.
Politicians will always play to the herd.
 
Yes and unfortunately the very vocal herd tends to be a well placed minority such as media luvvies. The supportive or ambivalent majority are then side-lined as a minority.
 
[...] ISTR a tale that at a families day at Scampton in the early 80s, a Vulcan was seen flying between a couple of hangars.[...]
I'm not sure this is true. Hangars 1 and 2 have Married Quarters and the Officers' Mess behind the gap, which are all at least 1950's build.

2 and 3 have the water tower, parachute section, MT Maintenance, the Armoury, and the old Supply Sqn behind them - the water tower is a good 100ft high and is at least 1940's build.

I am no Pilot, but knowing Scampton very well I don't believe a Vulcan could overfly those obstacles and have enough room to descend to pass between the hangars. We're talking 200m between the water tower and 80m of descent to make a pass between 2-3. While 1-2 would only require overflying smaller buildings and a longer distance between, that route is also quite dense in buildings. 1-2 is, I suppose, technically feasible but I would suggest utterly foolhardy (ignoring the inherent foolhardiness in the whole idea of flying between hangars.)


Every single RAF display and display practice is personally authorised before flight; that authorisation chain will include the station commander and possibly an AOC or above.
Public Display Authority is given by CAS whom I seem to recall delegates to DCom Ops. My only experience of a PDA is with RAFAT, and that is most definitely DCom Ops (3*) and AOC No 22 (Trg) Gp (2*) in the last week or so of SPRINGHAWK.

Display Practice, less sure. ODH/DDH I'd assume.
 

Nemesis44UK

LE
Book Reviewer
.... the severity of a Hawker Hunter laden with avgas crashing onto a busy road is going to be far far higher than a road crash..
Yes, but it is far less likely than a fuel tanker laden with fuel, that is already on the road, crashing and burning! (October, 28, 1987 Preston) Just look at any map and the massive amount of space there is for something to fall on that is nowhere near any road. Look at a map of urban Shoreham and there are millions of spots where something could fall from the sky and not hurt anyone. These unfortunates were really in the wrong place at the wrong time. One lady went through the lights as they changed and in her rear view mirror.... aka the infamous Irag war video.
...............................

Some info on UK road Tragedies.
This from Fleetowner.com.... http://fleetowner.com/management/news/horrific-uk-traffic-crash-1108

The M5 crash at Taunton 4Nov2011 is one of the worst in the history of British roads, according to the Guardian. A 34-vehicle crash that left seven dead and more than 51 injured.

May, 27, 1975: A 45-seater coach carrying pensioners plundged off a bridge in North Yorkshire, killing 33 people, in Britain’s worst-ever road accident.

November, 17, 1993: A crash on the M40 left 12 children and their teacher dead. A minibus transporting them home from a concert at the Royal Albert Hall in London veered into the back of a maintenance truck.

October, 21, 1985: A coach collided with traffic at a standstill because of construction work on the M6, killing 13 people.

October, 28, 1987: A diesel tank truck collided with stationary traffic on the M61 motorway near Preston, Lancashire, killing 12 people and injuring six.

March 13, 1991: 10 people were killed and 25 injured in a 51-car pile-up on the M4 near Hungerford after a van skidded into the central barrier in heavy fog during the morning rush hour.
 
Trying to state that death involving the general public is a possible part of airshows/rallies etc and should be tolerated as such because of airy notions of endeavour and romance is absolute nonsense. Go and say that to the relatives of the people who've died while driving their cars past the site. You're failing to acknowledge that the deaths of people who have nothing to do with the event at all, and haven't gone to see it, is likely to be seen in a very dim light by whatever level of inquiry finally follows this. It isn't enough to simply say 'Accidents happen' and it wouldn't surprise me if we've seen the end of high energy manouvres carried out by vintage jets (particularly) at airshows.
Death involving anyone is not tolerated, but possible at any time. It is inevitable and comes in a variety of ways and circumstances few of which can said to be ‘fair’.

As for your comments of airy notions of endeavour and romance, explaining that to the relatives of people who were not connected to the event, or failing to acknowledge the tragedy of the deaths that resulted; with both parents killed in an airliner that diverted due to an engine problem, then crashed into a hanger on landing, I am intimately acquainted with the pain associated with this sort of loss.

Tragic accidents happen daily. Society as it advances does its best to mitigate these, and will continue to do so. In this country the legislation governing the operation of these types of aircraft is comprehensive.
http://www.caa.co.uk/docs/33/CAP 632 Permit-to-Fly Ex-Military Aircraft.pdf

There will be a painstaking and detailed inquiry by the AAIB, and recommendations based upon its findings, and at that point what sort of airshows will be allowed in the future.
 
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Yes, but it is far less likely than a fuel tanker laden with fuel, that is already on the road, crashing and burning! (October, 28, 1987 Preston) Just look at any map and the massive amount of space there is for something to fall on that is nowhere near any road. Look at a map of urban Shoreham and there are millions of spots where something could fall from the sky and not hurt anyone. These unfortunates were really in the wrong place at the wrong time. One lady went through the lights as they changed and in her rear view mirror.... aka the infamous Irag war video.
...............................

Some info on UK road Tragedies.
This from Fleetowner.com.... http://fleetowner.com/management/news/horrific-uk-traffic-crash-1108

The M5 crash at Taunton 4Nov2011 is one of the worst in the history of British roads, according to the Guardian. A 34-vehicle crash that left seven dead and more than 51 injured.

May, 27, 1975: A 45-seater coach carrying pensioners plundged off a bridge in North Yorkshire, killing 33 people, in Britain’s worst-ever road accident.

November, 17, 1993: A crash on the M40 left 12 children and their teacher dead. A minibus transporting them home from a concert at the Royal Albert Hall in London veered into the back of a maintenance truck.

October, 21, 1985: A coach collided with traffic at a standstill because of construction work on the M6, killing 13 people.

October, 28, 1987: A diesel tank truck collided with stationary traffic on the M61 motorway near Preston, Lancashire, killing 12 people and injuring six.

March 13, 1991: 10 people were killed and 25 injured in a 51-car pile-up on the M4 near Hungerford after a van skidded into the central barrier in heavy fog during the morning rush hour.
You're still missing the point, which whatever level of inquiry that follows is almost certain not to. The CAA's current ban already acknowledges that UK plc doesn't think that this is an acceptable risk. You can't equate road deaths to this incident. When people make a decision to drive or travel on a road they know full well that it might be dangerous and that they might be involved in a collision. Travelling to work or for leisure on a road is 'normal', having a collision with a lorry or coach is unfortunately part and parcel of road travel and people accept that risk to allow 'normal' life to proceed as long as it is made as safe as reasonably possible.The last part of this sentence is the important bit.

Equally if an airliner crashes onto residential areas (the Amsterdam cargo crash being a good example) whilst flying a scheduled flight to help move people or goods from a to b then people think it's terrible, but that it's a risk that is worth taking to allow 'normal' life to proceed as long as lessons are learned and the activity is made as safe as possible (that phrase again).

There's nothing 'normal' about this incident. The 'unfortunates', as you kindly describe them, were 'at the wrong place at the wrong time' because of a recreational activity undertaken by a very small number of people, ie flying a vintage jet in an aerobatic manner. The vast majority of the public would be quite satisfied with the display minus aerobatics but with flypasts, banking turns, lots of noise etc and I suspect that this is what most of the public will happily accept as the norm once future rules have been put in place. Obviously this doesn't rule out accidents but does significantly reduce the risk of them.

It can't be acceptable to carry out routines that are, from a risk point of view, unnecessary for the activity to be successful whilst carrying the potential for incidents that are going to cost millions of pounds in monetary terms (this doesn't even include the cost consequences of the road closure and re-instatement) and untold misery for the families of the casualties purely to satisfy the interest of a relatively small number of pilots and aviation enthusiasts.

I don't think these planes should be stopped from flying or that displays shouldn't be held, though we'll have seen the end of Shoreham. However any flying should be carried out in a manner that reduces the risks as far as possible for the safety of spectators and participants, but more especially the wider public, whilst still looking good. As a consequence of this and as I said earlier I think we've seen the last of high energy manoevres by vintage jets at air shows (definitely over land), and that more sedate, but still spectacular and adequate for the wider public, flypasts will be all that are allowed. I think that insurance premiums and caution on the part of local authorities will kill off a large number of the smaller shows now in any case, whatever the regulator decides.
 
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The CAA's current ban already acknowledges that UK plc doesn't think that this is an acceptable risk.
No, it doesn't. To ground an aircraft type is entirely routine following a crash and even after much more 'minor' incidents. To cease aerobatics is a rarer step but one that has been taken before, if I remember right. Will do some digging and see if I can find the last time.

The ban, it is also worth noting, is temporary subject to the results of the investigation. As with all groundings...
 
No, it doesn't. To ground an aircraft type is entirely routine following a crash and even after much more 'minor' incidents. To cease aerobatics is a rarer step but one that has been taken before, if I remember right. Will do some digging and see if I can find the last time.

The ban, it is also worth noting, is temporary subject to the results of the investigation. As with all groundings...
Acknowledged and probably badly worded, but it does show that the CAA aren't prepared to risk flying like this to happen, if at all, until the facts are clear and the reasons understood. If it was as 'normal' and 'just something that happens' as the poster I quoted seems to think it is then they wouldn't have banned or grounded anything.
 
Acknowledged and probably badly worded, but it does show that the CAA aren't prepared to risk flying like this to happen, if at all, until the facts are clear and the reasons understood. If it was as 'normal' and 'just something that happens' as the poster I quoted seems to think it is then they wouldn't have banned or grounded anything.
Very true, I see what you meant.
 

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