Coroner hopes to set date for full inquest into Shoreham air show crash deaths

Posted On 03 Jun 2017 at 3:41 pm

Coroner Penelope Schofield hopes to set the date for the full inquest into the deaths of the 11 men who died in the Shoreham air show crash.

The West Sussex coroner plans to hold a pre-inquest review on Tuesday 20 June at the new West Sussex Coroner’s Court at Centenary House in Woodfield Road, Crawley.

The pre-inquest review was rescheduled from March because of the continuing police investigation and so that the Air Accident Investigation Branch final report could be considered.

Ms Schofield has said that she wants to ensure that the inquests are dealt with in a timely manner.

A pre-inquest review hearing is an administrative hearing. No evidence will be heard.

It is hoped that the full inquest date will be confirmed at the hearing on Tuesday 20 June although it may be necessary to hold a further pre-inquest review hearing before that date.

Eleven men died when a Hawker Hunter jet aircraft flown by pilot Andy Hill crashed on the A27 on Saturday 22 August 2015 during the Shoreham air show. They were

  • Maurice Abrahams, 76, a wedding chauffeur, of The Brow, Woodingdean
  • Dylan Archer, 42, an IT consultant, of Frederick Street, Brighton
  • Richard Smith, 26, a marketing and web development specialist, of Lansdowne Square, Hove
  • Tony Brightwell, 53, an NHS care manager, of Marmion Road, Hove
  • Matt Grimstone, 23, a groundsman for Brighton and Hove Albion and Worthing United footballer, of Osborne Road, Brighton
  • Jacob Schilt, 23, a delivery driver and fellow Worthing United footballer, of The Close, Brighton
  • Graham Mallinson, 72, a retired engineer, from Newick, near Lewes
  • Daniele Polito, 23, a builder, from Goring
  • Matt Jones, 24, a labourer and personal trainer, from Littlehampton
  • Mark Reeves, 53, a computer-aided design technician, from Seaford
  • Mark Trussler, 54, a window cleaner and general builder, from Worthing
  1. purplGuide Reply

    Lupe said 2nd April 6:39 pm

    I been thinking on the comment published by the leading aviation expert David Learmount that said the Air Display industry was basically shambollic with “the possible exception of Farnborough”. I’m not sure where the possible comes in?

    The piece below shows how irresponsible the organisers were at Shoreham. However Farnborough did exactly the same a YEAR AFTER Shoreham. 

    From the Daily Mirror:

    “A former airshow promoter said the RAF’s famous Red Arrows display team ruled the danger level was too high to perform their full stunt programme at Shoreham.

    He said: “I have friends involved in the organisation of Shoreham Air Show and have been there several times.

    “The Red Arrows refuse to display there as they say the surrounding area is far too dangerous and could lead to a major accident (same applies to Farnborough).

    “All they will do at Shoreham is a straight fly-past with red, white and blue smoke coming out the back of the jets.

    “They have refused point blank to do an acrobatic display. They say there is no fall-out zone and any accident would be a disaster there.

    “There is nowhere for them to put a plane down without killing someone.

    “Every year the organisers apply for a Red Arrows display but they turn them down.” Well that now applies to Farnborough.

    Farnborough advertised an acrobatic display clearly without doing a risk assessment. Fortunately the Reds told Farnborough to wise up!

    It just shows no lessons were learned by the Air Display Industry even after Shoreham. The Department of Transport needs to regulate since the CAA is too closely tied into the ‘cosy club’ mentality and ‘put commercial interest before public safety’.

    — I concur, but the Coroner also has a role to ensure that the rules are followed by ensuring significant sanctions are enforced when the rules are flouted so cynically!

    • BadaBoom Reply

      The final AAIB report was a bit of a waste of time, on day one it was clear to those with minimal expertise that the pilot was too low, was over a built up area, and it was a ‘lunatic’ stunt that should never have been planned and certainly curtailed as happened at events when Andy Hill previously messed up.

      The interim reports are more significant when one looks at the reasons for the deaths. David Learmount made a very reasoned summation in this regard.

      David Learmount is an aviation expert of high standing and has written extensively on this and one would expect to see his expert testimony used in court. He has written on breaches of the rules by the the FDD on completing risk assessments but the quote below alone is enough to conclude CAA rules were categorically broken by the show organisers. As is said by David Learmount, if they had followed the rules, there would have been no air disaster, no deaths.

      So the quote that says it all:

      “The rules about how display flying and air shows should be conducted are set out in the CAA’s publication CAP 403. Perhaps the key statement in it is this: “The impromptu, ad hoc, unrehearsed or unplanned should never be attempted.” That means every part of every routine must be known by all parties, rehearsed before the show, and strictly adhered to.

      If that rule alone – which had always been there – were to have been applied strictly at Shoreham in August last year, the crash would not have happened. Indeed the Hunter routine that led to disaster would either have been banned or modified considerably to make it comply with existing rules.” It did the same illegal stunt the year before and the organisers said great, upwards and onwards! If you book someone incompetent and know it or should know it you are equally to blame!

      Of course BADA and the flying establishment has put out a statement saying David Learmount has it all wrong, no rules were broken. Well there are lies, damn lies and blatant politicking. OK ask yourselves, has BADA ever been interested in anything else than blatant politicking? It had the chance to really do something, to support the smaller shows run by enthusiasts who needed support and expertise. That clearly never happened, the CAA census showed that. Did BADA put all its best efforts into promoting it’s own profile? It seemed at times you could just smell the lust for a gong, and did other matters like standards go out the window as a consequence? Well for whatever reason people, and an industry has died.

      At a previous fatal accident at Shoreham in 2007 the AAIB decided the crash probably occurred as a result of the pilot attempting an unplanned rolling manoeuvre (sound familiar). As a result it recommended that all stunts must be both planned AND the organisers MUST have full knowledge of them. So it beggars belief that they just did it again and BADA denies any problem!!!

  2. Valentino Reply

    Indeed at a previous accident a few years back the AAIB told the Shoreham organisers they MUST know specific details of the display. CAA rules say this. As has been stated, if this one rule alone had been followed, there would have been no deaths.

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