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Fri, Feb 22, 2019

Jurors Shown Cockpit Footage From Shoreham Airshow Accident

Eleven People Were Fatally Injured When The Hawker Hunter Went Down During A Performance

A jury has been shown cockpit footage from the 1950s era Hawker Hunter airplane which went down during the 2015 Shoreham Airshow, resulting in the fatal injury of 11 people on a highway near the base.

Pilot Andrew Hill is on trial for allegedly causing those deaths due to gross negligence. However, Hill claims he was suffering from "cognitive impairment" at the time of the accident. He was performing a maneuver called a "bent loop" when the plane went down.

The U.K. newspaper The Metro reports that Prosecutor Tom Kark QC described the way Hill was flying the airplane as "extremely dangerous" and that it was "appalling flying" had he "not been cognitively impaired" at the time of the accident. Hill took issue with the use of the word "appalling", but did say his piloting was "strange and anomalous" at the time of the accident.

In the video shown to the jurors, Hill can be seen to "nod" twice and slightly move his shoulders as if he were scanning the instruments and flying the plane, according to Kark. "All of this time, you are deliberately controlling the aircraft aren't you," he asked.

But Hill responded that there did not seem to be "any sensible control movements" made during the accident sequence. He told the jury that He had not practiced the maneuver at the airshow site, but had performed it at another airfield prior to the show, and had completed a similar maneuver at Shoreham the previous year.

In previous testimony, Hill was described as a "careful and competent" pilot. But prosecutors say he bent the rules at other shows and accused him of not being as concerned with safety as he should be.

Hill was thrown clear of the wreckage when the plane went down. He told first responders he had "blacked out" in the air. He was in an induced coma for a time during his recovery, and tests performed when he was brought out of the coma about a month after the accident did not show any sign of cognitive impairment or any other medical condition that would have affected his health in the time preceding the accident, the jury was told.

(Image from file)

FMI: Source report

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