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Crash jet showed 'nothing abnormal'

By Neil Lancefield

Published 05/09/2015

The pilot, Andrew Hill, was left fighting for his life and has been moved to a specialist hospital for treatment
The pilot, Andrew Hill, was left fighting for his life and has been moved to a specialist hospital for treatment

Footage from cockpit cameras in the vintage jet involved in the Shoreham disaster has revealed the aircraft showed "no abnormal indications" during the flight, according to air crash investigators.

The interim report by the Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB) also noted that the video showed the 1950s Hawker Hunter jet "appeared to be responding to the pilot's control inputs".

Eleven people died when the plane plummeted on to the A27 in West Sussex during the Shoreham Airshow on August 22.

The jet failed to pull out of a loop-the-loop stunt before crashing on to the road, exploding into a fireball.

The pilot, Andrew Hill, was left fighting for his life and has been moved to a specialist hospital for treatment.

The AAIB said the plane went into the manoeuvre at 200 feet.

David Learmount, a former pilot and RAF flying instructor, claimed the crash would not have happened if the plane had started at a higher altitude.

He said: "When you go into a vertical manoeuvre you tend to go out of it in the same height you go in, but it's easy to come out of it slightly lower - you don't have to take much of a misjudgment to do that.

"If you go into it low you have reduced the room for error."

Mr Learmount, who is consulting editor of Flightglobal online magazine, added: "If he had been 500 feet when he entered the manoeuvre and done exactly the same thing 11 people would be alive today."

Most of the aircraft wreckage has been recovered and sent to the AAIB's headquarters in Farnborough, Hampshire.

Work continues to locate some small pieces of the plane.

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