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Shoreham Airshow crash: Restrictions on vintage jets announced by Civil Aviation Authority

Air industry watchdog bans use of Hawker Hunter planes in air shows until further notice

Published 24/08/2015

The huge fireball which claimed the lives of 11 people after a jet crashed while trying to perform a stunt at Shoreham Airshow
The huge fireball which claimed the lives of 11 people after a jet crashed while trying to perform a stunt at Shoreham Airshow
Footballer Matthew Grimstone
Wreckage ablaze in a field
Victim Matt Jones
Tributes at the gates of Worthing FC

Flying displays over land by vintage jet aircraft will be "significantly restricted until further notice" following the Shoreham air disaster, the Civil Aviation Authority said today.

The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) said vintage jets would be "limited to flypasts" and "high-energy aerobatics" would not be permitted.

Eleven people are now feared to have died in the Shoreham disaster and the death toll may yet rise further, police said.

The CAA announced the following restrictions:

• "As a precaution, on Saturday 22 August we took steps to ensure no further flights were made by Hawker Hunter aircraft - this temporary restriction remains in place.

• "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.

• "The CAA will conduct additional risk assessments on all forthcoming civil air displays to establish if additional measures should be introduced.

• "We commenced a full review of civil air display safety yesterday and held an initial meeting this morning."

A vintage Hawker Hunter jet plummeted on to the A27 after it failed to pull out of a loop manoeuvre during an aerial display, exploding in a huge fireball as it ploughed through cars on the busy road.

Pilot Andy Hill, an experienced aerobatic stunt flyer who performed at shows up and down the country and flies for British Airways, was pulled alive from the wreckage and is fighting for his life in hospital.

A woman lays flowers near the site where a Hawker Hunter fighter jet crashed on August 23, 2015 in Shoreham, England. The aircraft came down while performing at the Shoreham Airshow yesterday, killing at least seven people. The pilot is said to be in a critical condition in hospital. (Photo by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images) *** BESTPIX ***
A woman lays flowers near the site where a Hawker Hunter fighter jet crashed on August 23, 2015 in Shoreham, England. The aircraft came down while performing at the Shoreham Airshow yesterday, killing at least seven people. The pilot is said to be in a critical condition in hospital. (Photo by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images) *** BESTPIX ***
Ground staff from Brighton and Hove Albion Football Club look at a shirt and flowers they laid in memory of their ground staff colleague Matt Grimstone, who was a keen amateur soccer goalkeeper traveling in a vehicle to play in a match with his teammate Jacob Schilt, alongside other tributes on a footbridge for people killed when a Hawker Hunter jet crashed into a highway Saturday after it failed to pull out of a loop maneuver during the Shoreham Airshow, near Shoreham, England, about 75 kilometers (45 miles) south of London, Monday Aug. 24, 2015. Police said the death toll in the crash will probably rise as emergency workers probe wreckage on the freeway where the plane went down, plowing through cars on the road and exploding in a huge fireball. (AP Photo/Matt Dunham)
A giant crane is used to remove wreckage of the plane on the A27 at Shoreham in West Sussex where 11 people are believed to have died when the historic Hawker Hunter fighter jet plummeted onto the major south coast road after failing to pull out of a loop manoeuvre. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Monday August 24, 2015. See PA story AIR Crash. Photo credit should read: Steve Parsons/PA Wire
Two shirts and floral tributes outside Worthing United Football Club. Worthing United footballers Matthew Grimstone, 23, and Jacob Schilt were on their way to play in a match against Loxwood FC when they were caught up in the Shoreham air crash. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Sunday August 23, 2015. Seven people died when an historic Hawker Hunter fighter jet plummeted on to the A27 at Shoreham in West Sussex after failing to pull out of a loop manoeuvre. See PA story AIR Crash. Photo credit should read: Daniel Leal-Olivas/PA Wire
Two shirts and floral tributes outside Worthing United Football Club. Worthing United footballers Matthew Grimstone, 23, and Jacob Schilt were on their way to play in a match against Loxwood FC when they were caught up in the Shoreham air crash. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Sunday August 23, 2015. Seven people died when an historic Hawker Hunter fighter jet plummeted on to the A27 at Shoreham in West Sussex after failing to pull out of a loop manoeuvre. See PA story AIR Crash. Photo credit should read: Daniel Leal-Olivas/PA Wire
Emergency services attend the scene on the A27 as seven people have died after a plane crashed into cars on the major road during an aerial display at the Shoreham Airshow in West Sussex. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Saturday August 22, 2015. See PA story AIR Crash. Photo credit should read: Daniel Leal-Olivas/PA Wire
A giant crane is used to remove wreckage of the plane on the A27 at Shoreham in West Sussex where 11 people are believed to have died when the historic Hawker Hunter fighter jet plummeted onto the major south coast road after failing to pull out of a loop manoeuvre. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Monday August 24, 2015. See PA story AIR Crash. Photo credit should read: Steve Parsons/PA Wire
A giant crane is used to remove wreckage of the plane on the A27 at Shoreham in West Sussex where 11 people are believed to have died when the historic Hawker Hunter fighter jet plummeted onto the major south coast road after failing to pull out of a loop manoeuvre. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Monday August 24, 2015. See PA story AIR Crash. Photo credit should read: Steve Parsons/PA Wire
A giant crane is used to remove wreckage of the plane on the A27 at Shoreham in West Sussex where 11 people are believed to have died when the historic Hawker Hunter fighter jet plummeted onto the major south coast road after failing to pull out of a loop manoeuvre. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Monday August 24, 2015. See PA story AIR Crash. Photo credit should read: Steve Parsons/PA Wire
A giant crane is used to remove wreckage of the plane on the A27 at Shoreham in West Sussex where 11 people are believed to have died when the historic Hawker Hunter fighter jet plummeted onto the major south coast road after failing to pull out of a loop manoeuvre. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Monday August 24, 2015. See PA story AIR Crash. Photo credit should read: Steve Parsons/PA Wire
SHOREHAM, ENGLAND - AUGUST 24: A woman carries a bunch of flowers to place on a bridge over the river Adur near where a Hawker Hunter fighter jet crashed during on August 24, 2015 in Shoreham, England. The aircraft came down while performing at the Shoreham Airshow on August 22nd. Police now expect the death toll to rise to as many as 20 victims. (Photo by Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images)
SHOREHAM, ENGLAND - AUGUST 24: Floral tributes and a football shirt in memory of victim Matt Grimstone are placed on a bridge over the river Adur near where a Hawker Hunter fighter jet crashed during on August 24, 2015 in Shoreham, England. The aircraft came down while performing at the Shoreham Airshow on August 22nd. Police now expect the death toll to rise to as many as 20 victims. (Photo by Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images)
SHOREHAM, ENGLAND - AUGUST 24: The damaged remains of the fuselage of a Hawker Hunter fighter jet are lifted by crane and put on a pick up truck on August 24, 2015 in Shoreham, England. The aircraft came down while performing at the Shoreham Airshow on August 22nd. Police now expect the death toll to rise to as many as 20 victims. (Photo by Charlie Crowhurst/Getty Images)
SHOREHAM, ENGLAND - AUGUST 24: The damaged remains of part of the wing of a Hawker Hunter fighter jet are lifted by crane on August 24, 2015 in Shoreham, England. The aircraft came down while performing at the Shoreham Airshow on August 22nd. Police now expect the death toll to rise to as many as 20 victims. (Photo by Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images)
SHOREHAM, ENGLAND - AUGUST 24: A general view as the damaged remains of the fuselage of a Hawker Hunter fighter jet are lifted by crane on August 24, 2015 in Shoreham, England. The aircraft came down while performing at the Shoreham Airshow on August 22nd. Police now expect the death toll to rise to as many as 20 victims. (Photo by Charlie Crowhurst/Getty Images)
*** BESTPIX *** SHOREHAM, ENGLAND - AUGUST 24: The damaged remains of the fuselage of a Hawker Hunter fighter jet are lifted by crane on August 24, 2015 in Shoreham, England. The aircraft came down while performing at the Shoreham Airshow on August 22nd. Police now expect the death toll to rise to as many as 20 victims. (Photo by Charlie Crowhurst/Getty Images)
SHOREHAM, ENGLAND - AUGUST 24: The damaged remains of the fuselage of a Hawker Hunter fighter jet are lifted by crane on August 24, 2015 in Shoreham, England. The aircraft came down while performing at the Shoreham Airshow on August 22nd. Police now expect the death toll to rise to as many as 20 victims. (Photo by Charlie Crowhurst/Getty Images)
SHOREHAM, ENGLAND - AUGUST 24: A private ambulance is escorted from the crash scene as the remians of the Hawker Hunter fighter jet are removed on August 24, 2015 in Shoreham, England. The aircraft came down while performing at the Shoreham Airshow on August 22nd. Police now expect the death toll to rise to as many as 20 victims. (Photo by Charlie Crowhurst/Getty Images)
SHOREHAM, ENGLAND - AUGUST 24: The damaged remains of the fuselage of a Hawker Hunter fighter jet are lifted by crane on August 24, 2015 in Shoreham, England. The aircraft came down while performing at the Shoreham Airshow on August 22nd. Police now expect the death toll to rise to as many as 20 victims. (Photo by Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images)
SHOREHAM, ENGLAND - AUGUST 24: The damaged remains of the fuselage of a Hawker Hunter fighter jet are lifted by crane on August 24, 2015 in Shoreham, England. The aircraft came down while performing at the Shoreham Airshow on August 22nd. Police now expect the death toll to rise to as many as 20 victims. (Photo by Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images)
SHOREHAM, ENGLAND - AUGUST 24: Emergency service workers in protective overalls walk on the A27 road near where a Hawker Hunter fighter jet crashed during on August 24, 2015 in Shoreham, England. The aircraft came down while performing at the Shoreham Airshow on August 22nd. Police now expect the death toll to rise to as many as 20 victims. (Photo by Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images)
SHOREHAM, ENGLAND - AUGUST 24: Members of the Fire Brigade and other emergency workers walk on the A27 road near where a Hawker Hunter fighter jet crashed during on August 24, 2015 in Shoreham, England. The aircraft came down while performing at the Shoreham Airshow on August 22nd. Police now expect the death toll to rise to as many as 20 victims. (Photo by Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images)
SHOREHAM, ENGLAND - AUGUST 24: A policeman looks to the A27 road near where a Hawker Hunter fighter jet crashed during on August 24, 2015 in Shoreham, England. The aircraft came down while performing at the Shoreham Airshow on August 22nd. Police now expect the death toll to rise to as many as 20 victims. (Photo by Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images)
SHOREHAM, ENGLAND - AUGUST 24: Men in protective overalls walk on the A27 road near where a Hawker Hunter fighter jet crashed during on August 24, 2015 in Shoreham, England. The aircraft came down while performing at the Shoreham Airshow on August 22nd. Police now expect the death toll to rise to as many as 20 victims. (Photo by Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images)
The huge fireball which claimed the lives of 11 people after a jet crashed while trying to perform a stunt at Shoreham Airshow
Footballer Matthew Grimstone
Wreckage ablaze in a field
Victim Matt Jones

But police warned it is "highly likely" 11 people have died and warned the number of fatalities may increase as they continue to search the scene of the carnage.

Some 14 people were injured, four of whom were taken to hospital, after the jet crashed at about 1.20pm on Saturday shortly after beginning its display in front of thousands of spectators at the Shoreham Airshow.

Among the dead are Worthing United footballers Matthew Grimstone and Jacob Schilt, both 23, who were on their way to play in a match for the club, and personal trainer Matt Jones (24).

Mr Grimstone's family said they were in "total shock" at his death, adding: "He was the kindest person you could ever meet with, a great wit."

Another man believed to have died was the driver of a Daimler wedding car, who was on his way to pick up a bride for her wedding service.

Those caught up in the tragedy were remembered at church services this morning. Prayers for the crash victims and their families were said at St Mary de Haura Church, where a minute's silence was held.

Police are yet to formally identify any of those killed in the tragedy.

Sussex Police Assistant Chief Constable Steve Barry said: "This has been an enormously traumatic incident and our thoughts are with everyone who has been affected, from those who have suffered bereavement to those in the local community who are deeply shocked."

He added: "Sadly, as a result of our initial work at the site, which has continued overnight, and inquiries following calls to the emergency services from worried families and friends, we have now identified 11 people who we are treating as highly likely to have died in this tragedy."

Investigators are keeping "an open mind" about who has been involved in the crash as they continue to receive calls from worried friends and relatives.

He said: "The scene itself is incredibly large. A lot of specially-trained officers are sifting, as we speak, so we do need to keep an open mind, but from what we have seen at this stage it is possible that we will find more fatalities."

Removal of the bodies was carrying on yesterday and is likely to continue today.

Specialist recovery teams and air accident investigators have been scouring the scene searching for more victims and clues as to how the accident occurred.

The crash site is "extremely large", Mr Barry said, and is spread over 400 yards of the A27 and into the adjoining airfield. All of those who died are thought to have been on the road.

Investigators discovered earlier that there was still engine fuel aboard the plane and its wreckage will be removed by crane tomorrow.

Mr Barry said the status of the jet's ejector seats was yet to be determined but confirmed the pilot was pulled from the burning jet.

The A27 is expected to be closed for several days for the investigation to take place and wreckage to be removed. The road itself was also badly damaged and will need to be repaired.

Specialists from other police forces in the South East and the West Sussex Fire and Rescue Service have been drafted into help with the operation, which Mr Barry said was "very, very significant... the likes of which I have never seen before".

An Air Accidents Investigation Branch spokesman added: "A preliminary report will be published when the initial stages of the investigation are completed.

"We ask if any members of the public with footage or photos of the crash could provide them to the AAIB as they could assist the investigation. They can do this by contacting enquiries@aaib.gov.uk."

Footage and pictures of the incident can also be sent to police, who urged people to contact them on shoreham.airshow2015@sussex.pnn.police.uk before sending any files.

As emergency services continued clearing the crash site, residents and loved ones came to the scene to pay their respects.

Dozens of bunches of flowers, yellow bouquets, roses and sunflowers lined the railings of a nearby footbridge.

One card read: "We didn't know you but we came because we care, we wanted you to know that you and your families are in our thoughts. Shoreham grieves for you and with you. Rest in peace."

Another said: "Thinking of all those who have lost their lives at the Shoreham air show on 22 August, 2015. Friends and family are in our thoughts. Rest in peace."

A message from St John Ambulance, Southwick Unit, read: "Our thoughts are with loved ones left behind."

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