Shoreham air show crash families continue their ‘search for answers’

Posted On 08 Mar 2019 at 4:37 pm

The families of the 11 men who died in the crash at the Shoreham air show will continue their search for answers, their lawyer said today (Friday 8 March).

Senior associate solicitor Rebecca Smith, from Irwin Mitchell, spoke after a jury cleared pilot Andrew Hill, 54, of 11 counts of manslaughter by gross negligence.

Hill crashed a vintage Hawker Hunter on to the A27 by Shoreham Airport when he failed to complete a loop.

Six of the 11 men who died were from Brighton and Hove – and the relatives of those who died were described as devastated by the jury’s verdict.

It came at the end of a seven-week trial at the Central Criminal Court – better known as the Old Bailey – in London.

Irwin Mitchell said: “Families affected by the Shoreham air show disaster more than three and a half years ago say the end of the criminal trial is just the next step in their search for answers, with attention now turning to the inquest which will be able to examine more than just the pilot’s actions.”

Specialist aviation lawyers at Irwin Mitchell represent 17 people affected by the crash, including families who lost loved ones and those who were injured.

The firm said: “Many are still receiving therapy to help them recover from the horrific scenes they witnessed when the Hunter Hawker plane crashed, killing 11 people on Saturday 22 August 2015.”

Rebecca Smith, one of the expert aviation lawyers at Irwin Mitchell, said: “Now that the criminal proceedings have concluded attention will now turn to the Inquest where the entirety of the Shoreham air show tragedy can be fully examined.

“While the criminal trial purely looked into the actions of the pilot involved, the inquest will be able to investigate the wider organisation and planning of the event including the safety precautions taken, the aircraft involved, location of spectators and the management of the pilots.

“While there have been some recommendations from the Air Accident Investigation Branch (AAIB) following their early reports, it is only once the whole event has been examined at the inquest that lessons can be fully learned to prevent something like this from ever happening again.

“Hopefully then the families and those affected will finally have all the answers they need to be able to begin to move on from this tragedy.”

A new date for the inquest has yet to be confirmed by the coroner.

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