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  1. ITV Report

Shoreham Airshow Crash: Who is pilot Andrew Hill?

  • Reporter Tom Savvides spoke to Sean Maffett, who is a friend of Andrew Hill:

Andrew Hill, 54, grew up in Kent, attending Tonbridge School, a private boarding school.

He studied engineering and computer science at Cambridge University where he showed an interest in flying.

That enthusiasm led him to the Royal Air Force, where he served, first as a training instructor and then on the front-line.

He left the RAF to join Virgin Atlantic, as a first officer or co-pilot.

That was a role he carried over to British Airways before becoming a captain.

Andrew Hill studied engineering and computer science at Cambridge University where he showed an interest in flying

At the same time as flying commercial aircraft, he started his foray into displays, clocking up 20 years experience.

Andrew Hill was well known within the air show community, having regularly displayed at various events.

He's been described as a professional pilot who was careful and competent, not one to put himself or others in danger.

He always struck me as being very well prepared. He does everything very methodically, he has a very logical brain.

"He's a great planner and he does things by the book.

"I don't think that Andy Hill is the kind of man to take risks. He analyses everything, he assesses the risk.

The thing is that there are some display pilots who do push it to the limits but I would never include Andy Hill in that category."

– Sean Maffett, Friend of Andrew Hill
Andrew Hill began his flying career in the Royal Air Force Credit: Jonathan Brady/PA

Those close to Andrew Hill, say he was not a pilot to take risks.

Sean Maffett, a friend of Andrew Hill and aviation commentator, said news of the crash "sent shockwaves through the air display community".

To be a pilot in the RAF and a trainer and a display pilot, one would have to be able to absorb a lot of information very quickly, to be very familiar with a lot of information and be able to access the right bit at the right time, and to have good had eye co-ordination to get on well enough with other people that you can do your job, to be able to handle stressful situations."

– Tom Farsides, Psychology lecturer, University of Sussex