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Fri, Dec 29, 2023

Shoreham Airshow Pilot Wants License Reinstated

Despite 11 Deaths, Andrew Hill Wants Back in the Game

The aviator whose airshow accident led to 11 deaths at a 2015 air show, has applied to the UK Civil Aviation Authority in the hopes of getting his license reinstated.

The incident left a bad taste in many a British mouth, when Andrew Hill's Hawker Hunter jet crashed into a nearby highway during a failed loop maneuver. The impact destroyed 8 cars, with 11 victims spread across the travelers and audience. Those injured tallied up to 16. Hill survived the crash without ejecting, allowing him to be charged with negligent manslaughter at a criminal trial in 2019. He defended himself blaming it on the G-force affecting his brain.

Hill was cleared of those charges, though a 2022 inquest (by a non-aviation agency) found his performance at the Shoreham Airshow quite lacking. The coroner report said that he had failed to plan out his maneuver by a "significant margin", believing that it should have been obvious on its face that he was not in any position to make a loop so close to the ground - 200 feet above ground level compared to a minimum of 500'.

Recent attention has been brought to Hill's case now that, nearly 10 years after the incident, he wants to fly again. The former RAF and British Airways pilot was found out when a Discovery channel documentary did research on what he'd been up to in the years since the crash. It's no accident that headlines in the UK began to play up the shock and offense felt by victims' families, given the documentary's imminent release. Press is press, particularly for the fans of macabre air disaster stories. Whether Hill will get his wings back remains to be seen... as well as whether he will get a fair hearing in the matter.

FMI: www.caa.co.uk

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