The Shoreham Airshow disaster pilot could have mixed up his planes before crashing on the A27.
An inquest into the deaths of 11 men who died when an old Hawker Hunter burst into a massive fireball was told the plane was too low and too slow to complete a loop.
Pilot Andrew Hill was flying at the right altitude for another jet when he attempted to perform a loop, an expert told an inquest.
At the end of the loop, with the plane flying upside down, Mr. Hill was at the right altitude to complete the maneuver in the Jet Provost, a type of training aircraft.
He was flying too low to get out safely in the Hunter, a jet-powered fighter.
Coroner Penelope Scholfield asked if it was possible that the pilot accidentally flew to the altitude required for the Jet Provost and not the Hunter.
“It’s certainly a definite possibility,” said Julian Firth, inspector of the government’s Aircraft Accident Investigation Department.
Mr Hill had flown nine displays in the two weeks prior to the crash.
Two of these displays were on the Jet Provost and seven on the RV-8, a single engine aircraft.
When asked if it was possible he had confused the altitude required for the Hunter with that of the Jet Provost, Julian Firth said, “That’s a serious mistake, ma’am.”
The 11 men were killed when the Hunter came too low out of the loop just above the A27 on 22 August 2015.
They were all outside the airshow area.
The inquiry opened last Wednesday, November 30, after years of delays and began with families paying heartfelt tributes to their lost loved ones.
In recent days, witnesses to the incident have told the inquest the horror of seeing a “massive fireball” during the crash.
One witness described “the deafening scream of the jet engine” as it crashed.
Mr Hill, the pilot, survived the crash and was acquitted of manslaughter after a trial at the Old Bailey. He claims he has no memory of the tragedy.
The Horsham investigation continues.
https://www.theargus.co.uk/news/23181574.shoreham-airshow-disaster-pilot-got-planes-mixed/?ref=rss Shoreham airshow disaster: Pilot may have messed up his planes