AAIB investigation to Hawker Hunter T7, G-BXFI – Special Bulletin S1/2016
Crashed onto public road during air display, near Shoreham Airport, 22 August 2015 – investigation update.
The aircraft was taking part in a flying display at Shoreham Airport during which it conducted a manoeuvre with both a vertical and rolling component, at the apex of which it was inverted. Following the subsequent descent, the aircraft did not achieve level flight before it struck the westbound carriageway of the A27. Eleven people on the ground were fatally injured.
Special Bulletin S3/2015 was published on 4 September 2015 to provide preliminary information about the accident gathered from ground inspection, radar data, recorded images and other sources.
A further Special Bulletin, S4/2015, was published on 21 December 2015 to highlight findings of the AAIB investigation regarding ejection seat safety and the maintenance of ex-military jet aircraft, and to assist the Civil Aviation Authority in its ‘Review of UK Civil Air Displays’ (the CAA Review) announced on 9 September 2015.
On 28 October 2015 the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) published Civil Aviation Publication (CAP) 1351 - ‘CAA Review of Civil Air Displays: progress report’, setting out the progress it had made in its review to date, and explaining the next steps it would be taking.
On 26 January 2016 the CAA published CAP 1371 - ‘UK Civil Air Display Review: Actions that impact on UK civil air displays in 2016’.
The AAIB investigation of the accident to G-BXFI is an independent process but it has and will continue to inform the CAA Review.
The AAIB recognises that as well as being enjoyed by large numbers of spectators and participants, flying displays are also considered to provide important economic and educational benefits. The sole purpose of an AAIB investigation is to improve aviation safety by determining the causes of accidents and serious incidents to make Safety Recommendations intended to prevent recurrence. It does not therefore consider the balance between those benefits and improvements.
This Special Bulletin considers public protection and safety management at flying displays. A final report will be published in due course.
Fourteen Safety Recommendations are made.