James Healy-Pratt, Head of Aviation, and lawyer for the families of seven of the victims of the Shoreham Airshow disaster makes the following statement in regard to the news that pilot, Andy Hill, is to face 11 counts of gross negligence manslaughter and Air Navigation Order offences:

Eleven innocent victims lost their lives at the Shoreham Airshow in the Summer of 2015, the worst British aviation disaster this century.

Whilst it is widely accepted that air safety is not improved by a blame culture, the important concept of a Just Culture remains both here and within the EU. “Just Culture” is embodied in British and EU aviation law. It is defined as; “where front-line operators and others are not punished for actions, omissions or decisions taken by them which are commensurate with their experience and training, but where gross negligence, willful violations and destructive acts are not tolerated.”

This announcement of criminal charges against the pilot now means that the West Sussex Coroner’s Inquest will be automatically adjourned by law, pending the outcome of that criminal process.

The Families will have to wait until late 2019 at the earliest for there to be a realistic chance of closure.



Some coverage of this news in the media:

 – BBC – Shoreham air crash: Pilot Andy Hill to be charged over deaths

 – The Argus – Grieving families’ relief that air crash pilot will face trial for deaths

 – Daily Mail – Wedding chauffeur’s widow says she is ‘very relieved’ as Shoreham Airshow disaster pilot is charged with 11 counts of manslaughter three years after her husband was killed in A27 plane crash

 – The Mirror – Shoreham Air Show pilot charged with manslaughter after vintage jet crashed killing 11

 – Huffington Post – Shoreham Air Crash: Pilot To Be Charged With Manslaughter Over 11 Deaths



You can find further information regarding our expertise, experience and team on our Aviation pages.

If you require assistance from our team, please contact us or alternatively request a call back from one of our lawyers by submitting this form.

Media contact: Lydia Buckingham, Senior Marketing Executive, +44 (0) 20 7822 8134, lbuckingham@stewartslaw.com