The AAIB safety Report into the Shoreham Airshow Disaster is a comprehensive review of the chain of causes that led to the accident on 22 August 2015. Thirty two safety recommendations have now been made; ranging from better regulation and better risk assessment to better pilot training.
This Report confirms that there were several events that all contributed to the cause of this accident. There was regulatory confusion about who was in charge of the risk, the risk assessment was itself not suitable, and the pilot entered the aerobatic manoeuvre too slow and pulled out of the apex turn at too low a height. Also, the pilot did not abandon the manoeuvre despite having time to do so, since it appeared that he did not recognise that the aircraft was too low to complete the downward half of the manoeuvre.
James Healy-Pratt, Head of Aviation at Stewarts, and lawyer for the families of seven of the victims of the disaster said:
“The final AAIB report issued today is an important milestone for the families who lost loved ones at Shoreham.
They have been searching for answers as to how this accident was able to occur and what went wrong that day. This report goes some way in getting those answers.
Whilst we cannot turn back the clock, the findings allow the families some peace in knowing that safety measures are in place to ensure that innocent lives are not lost in the future.
The families that we are helping also strongly welcome the call by the AAIB for an independent review of the governance of flying display activity in the United Kingdom.
In many ways the truth is that this was a preventable accident. Inadequate regulation, preparation and piloting all contributed in their own way to create this tragedy.
Our families will now await the next two stages of the Criminal Investigation and the Coroner’s Investigation and Inquest.”
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