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Shoreham crash investigation 'lacking key evidence'

Eleven people died when the jet came down Credit: ITV

Sussex Police say their investigation into the Shoreham airshow crash is being hampered because key evidence is missing.

Eleven people died when a vintage jet crashed onto the A27 last August. Today, detectives told a pre-inquest hearing they've had to apply to the High Court to get material from aircrash investigators. Malcolm Shaw reports

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Damning report on Shoreham Airshow crash

Air accident investigators have released a damning report on the Shoreham Airshow crash, which shows how the safety of the public was put at risk.

Today's report made 14 recommendations - highlighting huge flaws in health and safety at Shoreham.

11 local men died when a Hawker Hunter jet crashed onto the busy A27 in August last year. Today's report said safety had been compromised before.

Video footage of the same plane - in the previous year - showed most manoeuvres happened over public areas, along the A259, and one went straight over the town of Lancing.

This was happening with other aircraft at other airshows, and went against the rules of flying at public events. Here's Divya Kohli with the details.

Shoreham Airshow boss 'unaware' of pilot's plan

Investigators assess the damage on the A27 Credit: ITV Meridian

Shoreham's flying display director was not aware of the sequence of manoeuvres that the Hawker Hunter pilot intended to perform, the AAIB found.

Without prior knowledge of the routine or the ground over which he would fly, it was not possible to identify specific hazards and which groups of people would be exposed to them, the report stated.

The FDD presented risk assessments to the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) to seek permission for two displays following the disaster that "were not materially different from that for Shoreham", according to the AAIB.

Investigators issued a safety recommendation calling for the CAA to "specify the safety management and other competencies" that flying show organisers must demonstrate.

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Reaction to AAIB report on Shoreham Airshow tragedy

Lawyers representing Shoreham crash victims issue statement

“This special bulletin is an extremely important step forward in improving the safety of airshows across the UK. There are clear learning points from what happened at Shoreham which the CAA must take into account and implement into its policies and guidance asap.

“The key issues include the detail included in the risk assessments for Shoreham in relation to where potentially dangerous manoeuvres were taking place and how close the crowd would be standing. As we tragically saw in August last year, when something goes wrong with an aircraft near to a large group of spectators, there can be disastrous consequences

“Although we don’t want to dampen the enjoyment that many people derive from airshows, it’s quite clear that the regulations for organisers looking to put on a display have got to be improved to reduce the risk of similar issues in future.”

– Jim Morris, a former pilot and specialist aviation lawyer at Irwin Mitchell representing the victims of the Shoreham crash

"While the CAA's recommendations to improve safety at airshows are welcome, we and our clients are very disappointed that it has taken this disaster and this terrible loss of life to happen before these recommendations have been made.

"Most of the recommendations are common sense, and questions have to be asked whether more should have been done to improve safety standards prior to the tragic events that occurred in Shoreham.”

– Clive Garner, who leads the aviation team at Irwin Mitchell
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