The AAIB (UK NTSB) has published it’s final report on the G-BXFI Hawker Hunter jet that crashed into the A27 at Shoreham airshow last year performing a aerobatic maneuver, killing 11 people and injuring many more, including the pilot.
The headlines (I really recommend you read the report though, it’s really interesting and in depth, and has an animation at the end also):
- The overall cause of the accident was pilot error.
- The pilot initiated the aerobatic maneuver (a bent loop) too low, at too low of a speed and without using full thrust, all of which are required for it’s safe operation
- The pilot did have a chance to abort the maneuver at it’s peak, however he failed to recognise any problems and continued
- The aircraft had several defects and exceedances of it’s operational limits, one of which meaning it could not be considered airworthy, breaching its permit to fly. This, however, was not deemed to have contributed to the accident.
- The pilot had neither trained or practised escape maneuvers in the Hunter, which may had meant the maneuver be aborted and the accident prevented
- The pilot may have been confused with the procedures for a bent loop for a Jet Provost, another aircraft he flew, as the height and altitude he entered the maneuver were around correct for that aircraft
The AAIB animation of the accident: