COUNTY NEWS: Shoreham airshow will not return this year

Hundreds gathered to mark the first anniversary of the disaster last year
Hundreds gathered to mark the first anniversary of the disaster last year

The Shoreham airshow will not take place for a second year following the 2015 disaster, one of the directors has confirmed.

Colin Baker said it could not take place because important reports into 2015 crash, in which 11 men died, were still ongoing.

“Frankly, it wouldn’t be right to even attempt to do it,” he said.

He said they were still waiting for the inquests to take place and a police investigation into the pilot to conclude.

A final report from the Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB), which he said the directors were ‘anxiously awaiting’, has still not been published, though Mr Baker believes it will be released ‘imminently.’

Of putting on the airshow, he said: “It’s not even our decision, really, while these other people are still doing their work.

“And the needs of the families need to be taken into consideration.”

He said whether the airshow would take place next year or in the near future was also ‘subject to these very important examinations.’

A vintage Hawker Hunter jet crashed onto the A27 during a display at the airshow on Saturday, August 22, 2015.

Yesterday, the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) gave an update on the implementation of recommendations they had received from the AAIB.

A spokesperson confirmed that all 21 recommendations had been accepted, and had either already been implemented or were currently being implemented.

The CAA also published their own review into airshow safety in April last year, the spokesperson said.

Sussex Police are still investigating the pilot, 51-year-old Andy Hill, for possible endangerment contrary to Article 138 Air Navigation Order 2009 and for possible manslaughter by gross negligence, a spokesperson confirmed.

In September last year, the High Court rejected Sussex Police’s request to see statements made by pilot Andrew Hill to the AAIB, which it had wanted to help with its investigation.

However it ruled that film footage of the flight, made by cameras installed on the aeroplane, could be released to the Police.

A pre-inquest review hearing into the 11 deaths is schedule to take place on Friday, March 17 at the new West Sussex Coroner’s Court in Woodfield Road, Crawley.

It had been postponed from November, because it had been anticipated that little progress could be made while the AAIB report and the police investigation were still outstanding, a West Sussex County Council spokesperson said at the time.

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