The inquest into the deaths of each of the 11 victims of the Shoreham Airshow crash concluded today, 20th December 2022.

A statement posted on the West Sussex County Council website reads as follows:

The Senior Coroner found that they were unlawfully killed when a Hawker Hunter T7 aircraft crashed whilst attempting an incorrectly flown looping manoeuvre.

The crash occurred because:

  • the aircraft’s speed on entry into the manoeuvre was too slow
  • the thrust applied by the pilot in the upward half of the manoeuvre was insufficient
  • the aircraft did not achieve sufficient height at the apex of the manoeuvre to complete it before impacting the ground because the combination of low entry speed and low engine thrust in the upward half of the manoeuvre
  • despite the aircraft being significantly short of the minimum apex height to complete the manoeuvre safely, the pilot did not perform an escape manoeuvre.
  • The deaths occurred because the aircraft crashed on the A27 due to a change of ground track during the manoeuvre which positioned the aircraft further East than planned, producing an exit track along the dual carriageway.

This series of gross errors that led to these deaths were made in circumstances where:

  • the pilot appeared conscious throughout
  • the aircraft responded to the pilot’s control inputs
  • the pilot either did not perceive that an escape manoeuvre was necessary, or did not realise that one was possible at the speed achieved at the apex of the manoeuvre
  • there was no evidence of any g-related impairment of the pilot during the aerobatic sequence flown
  • the g experienced by the pilot during the manoeuvre was probably not a factor in the crash.

The full Ruling on the inquest conclusions can be downloaded HERE.