Shoreham plane crash: Pilot Andy Hill being investigated by police over separate incident at another airshow

Sussex Police say they are looking into an incident at the Southport airshow a year before the crash which killed 11 people in August

Caroline Mortimer
Wednesday 03 February 2016 01:23
Comments
A fighter jet crashes in west Sussex
A fighter jet crashes in west Sussex

The pilot involved in last year's Shoreham air disaster is being investigated over a separate incident which occured 12 months earlier, according to reports.

Andy Hill lost control of the Hawker Hunter jet at an airshow in Shoreham in August killing 11 people.

He was thrown free from the plane and survived.

Sussex Police have said they are investigating an incident at the Southport airshow in 2014 where the 51-year-old was reportedly flying too close to the ground and the crowd.

David Walton, who was the Flight Display Director responsible for the safety at the Southport event, told ITV News a stop call was immediately issued and the display was terminated.

He said: "A 'stop' call was immediately issued by the Flying Display Director (FDD) on the display radio frequency and the flying display was terminated.

Video of Shoreham Air Show crash and aftermath

"The Flying Control Committee (FCC) had also witnessed the event and agreed with the course of action.

"The pilot was debriefed, initially on the telephone and later in person, and agreed to amend his display for the Sunday display."

Heather Minshull, who was at the Southport show, said she remembered the jet being very loud and “[coming] down in a dive which... seemed to loop and face the wrong way”.

A huge fireball erupted after the jet crashed into the dual carriageway

She said: "I remember looking at it and thinking I'm sure that plane nearly hit. I'm sure that that plane nearly crashed.

"I do recall straightaway that the plane flew high and went, so it felt very much like a cancelled manoeuvre as if something had gone wrong, and gone wrong very quickly, and therefore the plane had been pulled out of the display.

"I do recall thinking that plane would have come down on the beach. It would have come down right in front of me. There was definitely a crowd there."

The Civil Aviation Authority - which had an inspector at the event - said it had spoken to Mr Hill about the incident.

Sussex Police said they had interviewed Mr Hill about the earlier incident in December.

They had been criticised by the victims' families for failing to interview the pilot in the weeks following the accident.

Andrew Hill, the pilot involved in the Shoreham air crash

Mr Hill was photographed in public following his release from hospital but had not been interviewed at the time.

The Air Accident Investigation Bureau published an interim report into the Shoreham crash in September which said the former British Airways pilot performed a left turn at 200ft above sea level - despite only having a licence to fly above 500ft.

A full inquest is expected to take place in June.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Please enter a valid email
Please enter a valid email
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Please enter your first name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
Please enter your last name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
You must be over 18 years old to register
You must be over 18 years old to register
Opt-out-policy
You can opt-out at any time by signing in to your account to manage your preferences. Each email has a link to unsubscribe.

By clicking ‘Create my account’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

Comments

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in