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'No sign' Shoreham crash pilot Andrew Hill blacked out

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'No sign' Shoreham crash pilot Andrew Hill blacked out


Andy Hill
Image captionPilot Andrew Hill, 54, denies 11 counts of manslaughter by gross negligence

Cockpit footage from the jet involved in the Shoreham air crash showed there was "no sign" the pilot may have blacked out, a court has heard.

Aviation expert and prosecution witness Jonathan Whaley told the Old Bailey it appeared all the movements made by pilot Andrew Hill were deliberate.

"His movements seem to be positive and for reasons, whatever those reasons are," he said. 

Mr Hill, 54, denies 11 counts of manslaughter by gross negligence.

Eleven men were killed when the Hawker Hunter he was flying crashed on to the A27 outside the Shoreham Airshow, in West Sussex, on 22 August 2015 following a loop manoeuvre.

Mr Whaley, a display pilot who has flown hundreds of flights in a Hawker Hunter, told the jury the turn performed by Mr Hill as he entered into his final "bent loop" was "relatively smooth, not suddenly yanking G".

Commenting on the entire cockpit footage of the final flight shown to jurors, he said the view from the jet upside down before the final dive would have made him feel "deeply uncomfortable".

Image copyrightSUSSEX POLICE/CPSHawker Hunter jet plane prior to plummeting onto the A27
Image captionThe Hawker Hunter jet prior to plummeting on to the A27 on 22 August 2015

The prosecution argue Mr Hill should have known he did not have the height to dive down safely and should have carried out an escape manoeuvre instead.

As the plane descends before the crash, Mr Whaley described it as being in "deep stall" with the wings rocking "when one wing stalls more than the other".

He said due to the massive drag produced by the plane in deep stall no amount of power - even full power - would make any difference.

"You're going down, that's what's going to happen," he told the court. 

Mr Whaley was later asked what the pilot should do if he realised he did not have the required height.

"Stop putting the nose down. Don't commit to the loop," he said.

"How deeply ingrained is this?" he was asked.

"It's fundamental," Mr Whaley replied.

The trial continues.



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