Following the worst aviation disaster at a UK air show in more than 60 years, the Civil Aviation Authority has announced an immediate package of flight restrictions at future such events.
At least 11 people were killed when a Hawker Hunter, which was performing an aerobatic display during the Shoreham air show, crashed on a busy road adjacent to the airfield on 22 August.
Announcing its action two days after the accident, the CAA says that “flying displays over land by vintage jet aircraft will be significantly restricted until further notice. They will be limited to flypasts, which means ‘high energy’ aerobatics will not be permitted.” All flight activities involving other Hunter aircraft have also been temporarily restricted since the crash, it adds.
“The CAA will conduct additional risk assessments on all forthcoming civil air displays to establish if additional measures should be introduced,” the authority says, with a review of its safety procedures having been performed the day after the Shoreham crash.
According to the CAA, the temporary measures will “give authorities time for thorough review”. It adds that it will “act promptly in response to any emerging indications from the Air Accidents Investigation Branch”, which is attempting to determine the factors behind the tragedy.
The 22 August crash resulted in the heaviest loss of life at a public air display since a prototype de Havilland DH.110 – the precursor to the Royal Navy’s Sea Vixen fighter – disintegrated after making a high-speed pass at the Farnborough air show in 1952, killing its two-man crew and 29 spectators.