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Hawker Hunter Shoreham Air Crash: Was Pilot way too low at 200ft? No 'blackbox' flight/data recorders and no GPS flight information but Shorham crash jet showed 'no abnormalities says AAIB Interim report

Image copyright Eddie Mitchell  Eleven people died in the crash on the A27 in Shoreham last month  
              
The vintage Hawker Hunter T7 (G-BXF) jet which crashed at the Shoreham air show killing 11 people showed "no abnormal indications" during its flight, an initial AAIB interim report has found.  Sadly the interim report suggests the pilot was at 200ft when the safe baseline at the start and end of the display manoeuvre is 500ft.  

The Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB) report said cockpit footage from two cameras - one including part of the pilot and instrumentation showed the plane "responding to the pilot's control inputs".

The interim report [AAIB Bulletin 3/2015 Special] is compiled from facts which have been gathered and evaluated up to the time of publication. The objective is to inform the aviation community and the public of the 'general circumstances' of accidents and serious incidents. The AAIB makes the clear point, the contents should be regarded as tentative and always subject to alteration and correction if and when new evidence become available.

The interim report or special bulletin is therefore primarily a discussion document rather than a definitive statement, and that is reserved for the final accident report which could take up to two years to complete. 

The interim report said the cockpit canopy was open and that pilot Andy Hill along with his ejector seat was thrown clear of the aircraft during the later part of the crash on 22 August.
The AAIB said it was not clear whether Mr Hill initiated his ejection, although the safety bolts had been removed and stowed  and the pilot ejection seat properly primed for use before take off  by an engineer at the jets home base.


"The ground marks and photographic evidence show that the aircraft struck the road in a nose-high attitude on a magnetic heading of approximately 230 degrees. The first ground contact was made by the lower portion of the jetpipe faring, approximately 50 m east of the road junction. During the impact sequence fuel and fuel vapour from the [recently filled underslung wing] tanks was released and then ignited. The aircraft broke into four main pieces which came to rest close together approximately 243m from the initial ground contact, in a shallow overgrown depression to the south of the A27."
AAIB Special Bulletin S3/2015

The interim report deals extensively with Mr Hills qualifications and found them all to be in order, and all required permits and medical certification current and validated. 


Earlier Blog:

http://julianbrayrecessionbuster07944217476.blogspot.co.uk/2015/08/hawker-hunter-display-aircraft-crashes.html
Graphic of jet's flight path



The AAIB interim report says the 51-year-old pilot is currently in a serious but stable condition in hospital. The Hawker Hunter's canopy was released at the initial impact, the jet tail pipe was the first part of the aircraft to make contact with the ground as the jet was in a nose up position. The interim report confirms that both fuel tanks - one slung under each wing - were filled [and it is assumed the onboard tank was also full] at the point of departure from the jets home base at North Weald. At the time of impact fuel and fuel vapour was released, then ignited as the jet split into four parts.  Both Mr Hill and his ejection seat were thrown clear of the cockpit.

The interim report states: "The investigation continues to determine if the pilot attempted to initiate ejection or if the canopy and pilot's seat were liberated as a result of impact damage to the cockpit."
Crash siteImage copyright Reuters
Image caption The crash site was littered with wreckage from the jet.
The AAIB interim report confirms there are no "blackbox" flight /data recorders on the vintage jet, and that no flight path information was recovered from the GPS. However, there were two cameras positioned in the cockpit.
 "To date, no abnormal indications have been identified [from the footage].
"Throughout the flight, the aircraft appeared to be responding to the pilot's control inputs."
The AAIB said it has received a "large amount" of video footage and photographs of the aircraft, much of which was taken in high resolution, from a variety of locations on and around Shoreham Airport.
It said an analysis of the still and moving images using "photogrammetry techniques" will be undertaken to establish the parameters of the aircraft's manoeuvres, including flight path and speed.

The victims:

(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 MallinsonImage 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

Sources: AAIB, BBC, CNS, Reuters, Shoreham Herald, Shoreham Air Show volunteers

JULIAN BRAY +44(0)1733 345581, Journalist, Broadcaster, Aviation Security & Airline Operations Expert, Travel / Maritime & Cruise Industry, EQUITY, NUJ, Broadcast COOBE ISDN ++44 (0)1733 345020 (DUAL CODEC) SKYPE: JULIAN.BRAY.UK e&oe Cell: 07944 217476 or iPhone 0743 530 3145 www.aviationcomment.com # # # VENDOR 10476453 http://feeds.feedburner.com/BraysDuckhouseBlog

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