Shoreham Airshow crash: expert pilot 'would have abandoned' fatal manouevre

Andrew Hill, 54
Andrew Hill, 54

A pilot called as an expert witness in the Shoreham Airshow crash trial said he would have abandoned the manouevre which ultimately killed 11 people.

Pilot Andrew Hill, 54, faces 11 charges of manslaughter by gross negligence and one of endangering an aircraft under air navigation laws following the crash on August 22, 2015.
He is currently on trial at the Old Bailey. The prosecution have argued that it was his negligence that caused the tragic accident.

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But the defence have claimed that Mr Hill suffered a 'cognitive impairment' during the doomed flight due to the gravitational force he was subjected to, causing him to crash his Hawker Hunter jet into the A27 near the Sussex Pad traffic lights while attempting a bent loop.
At the Old Bailey on Friday, Jonathon Whaley, who also flies a Hawker Hunter, told the jury he would have abandoned the bent loop as the aircraft was in the wrong position.
He said he would also have chosen 'a higher flight path'.
The pilot compiled a report for the jury which estimated the G-force that Mr Hill would have experienced during the flight.
Mr Whaley believed Mr Hill performed his manouevres at 'between 2.5G and 2.9G' and for 'no longer than 23 seconds'.
He told the jury that in his experience, anything above 5G would cause problems.
But when cross-examined by defence barrister Karim Khalil QC, Mr Whaley admitted he was not qualified to calculate G-force as an expert witness.
He said: "I am a pilot and I know the principles, and I could find ways of calculating G-force, but I'm not an aerodynamicist."
The court also heard that Mr Whaley no longer stood by the measurements he quoted, after he discovered he had used an incorrect method of calculation when it was pointed out to him by a colleague.
Other experts estimated that the g-force could have peaked at 4.8G.
Mr Whaley told the court that he had 'no reason to see why or where there would be spikes' of G-force, but that at the low altitude Mr Hill was flying at, he believed it was unlikely to have caused him to partially lose consciousness as the defence claimed.
During the crash on the A27, Mr Hill's seat was partially ejected, launching him out of the aircraft to safety.
Mr Whaley agreed that if the defendant had intentionally ejected himself from the jet, it would have lead to a more serious loss of life than if he remained in the aircraft.
There were also questions raised about varying engine speeds during the flight.
Part of an interview with Mr Hill was read out, which said: "I have no recollection of the flight. I can't understand how or why the engine speed varied."
Mr Hill denies all charges.
The trial continues.