Shoreham Airshow crash: Video shows Hawker Hunter jet's 'laboured' take-off on day of tragedy

Expert says plane's behaviour appears 'very strange'

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The Independent Online

A video has emerged which purports to show the moment the fighter jet involved in the Shoreham Airshow crash took off for the last time.

Erol Huseyin, who filmed the take-off at the Hawker Hunter’s home base at North-Weald, said they thought at the time that it looked “laboured” and “slow”.

One hour later, the plane crashed at the Sussex air show, killing 11 people. Police said it was “becoming increasingly likely” that would be the final death toll, after fears it could be as high as 20.

An aviation expert and pilot, who has viewed Mr Huseyin’s footage, said the vintage jet’s take-off did indeed look “unusual”.

“When a plane takes off you try to get it off as rapidly as possible, but it took a long time for it to get airborne,” he told The Telegraph.

“The reason I thought it looked really weird is it wasn't going up normally. With these types of plane they normally go up and up like a missile but this one didn't. It all looks very strange.”

All other Hawker Hunters have been grounded in the wake of Saturday’s crash, and high-energy aerobatics at displays involving vintage jets over land have been banned.

The remains of the crash plane itself have been sent for analysis by the Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB) at Farnborough in Hampshire. An interim report on its initial findings was expected in the next few days.

The pilot, Andrew Hill, it not thought to have ejected before the plane hit the ground. He remains in hospital, and has been put in a medically-induced coma.

Four victims of the crash have been named so far, while West Sussex’s coroner said identifying others would be a “slow and painstaking operation”. Those named were Worthing United footballers and best friends Matthew Grimstone and Jacob Schilt, both 23, personal trainer Matt Jones, 24, and former soldier Maurice Abrahams, 76.

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