Investigators are continuing their work to determine what led the pilot of a vintage Hawker Hunter T7 trainer to crash onto a busy road during the Shoreham air show in the UK on 22 August, killing at least 11 people.
Shortly after commencing a display over the Sussex airfield, the pilot performed a split-loop manoeuvre before diving to regain speed, but failed to complete a pull-up before the aircraft hit the ground and exploded. Fatalities included several motorists and bystanders, but the pilot was recovered from the scene and taken to hospital in a critical condition.
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It is unclear whether a strong crosswind that was in effect at Shoreham during the show contributed to the Hunter ending up as positioned over the main road, instead of the airfield, or whether the aerobatic manoeuvre was performed at a sufficient altitude for a recovery to have been completed. A team from the UK Air Accidents Investigation Branch is at the scene and a section of aircraft wreckage is due to be removed on 24 August.
Registered as G-BXFI and owned by Canfield Hunter, the T7-model aircraft destroyed in the accident had the manufacturer’s serial number 41H-670815.