England

Shoreham Airshow cancelled after crash which killed 11 people

Fireball Image copyright E Mitchell
Image caption The pilot of the Hawker Hunter jet survived the crash when it hit the A27 during the Shoreham Airshow on 22 August

The Shoreham Airshow will not go ahead in 2016 after a crash during last year's event which left 11 people dead.

The decision was taken primarily out of respect for those killed when a Hawker Hunter crashed on the A27 in August, organisers said.

The Civil Aviation Authority may also review its airshow regulations after the conclusion of its investigation into the crash.

Airshow organisers said the Shoreham display might still take place in 2017.

"We understand that this decision may be disappointing for many," a spokesman for Shoreham Airshow Ltd added.

"When and if it is appropriate to do so, we will explore the possibility of a 2017 airshow. In the meantime, we continue to be fully committed to assisting the Air Accidents Investigation Branch with its ongoing investigation."

Image copyright PA
Image caption A report said ejector seats were a "significant hazard" that delayed rescue teams until they were made safe

Mark Sanderson, secretary and vice-chairman of Worthing United FC, which lost two of its players in the crash, said the tragedy had affected everyone "very, very deeply".

He added: "I don't think there's an appetite for the airshow - certainly not this year and I'm not sure ever again.

"Matt (Grimstone) and Jacob (Schilt) were very close to us, and to me personally, and it affects me every time I use that road... the reminder is always going to be there."

Lisa Janette, whose friend was Mark Trussler's fiancee, wrote on BBC Sussex's Facebook page that she totally agreed with the decision.

"My friend has been left alone with four children... every day she still cries," said Ms Janette.

"She is still very much grieving and so are the children."

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Media captionBBC South East Today spoke to three people in Shoreham

Tim Loughton, the Conservative MP for East Worthing and Shoreham, agreed that it was the right decision and the feelings of the families of the victims were "absolutely paramount".

He said: "The final report from the tragic accident has yet to be published.

"We need to get to the bottom of exactly what caused it and, in the circumstances, trying to organise another airshow some months away was completely impractical."

Image copyright AFP/Getty
Image caption Airshow organisers said the Shoreham display might still take place in 2017

There was a mixed reaction to the news of the cancellation in Shoreham itself.

Roy Clark told the BBC he felt the airshow should "definitely go ahead".

"Accidents happen - it was a tragedy, but that shouldn't actually stop something which has got such a long tradition," he said.

Judith Brean disagreed: "This area is so built up I feel it's a danger anyway, and it would be very disrespectful to those who died to hold that again."

An interim report by the Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB) said the Hawker Hunter had expired ejector seat parts and an out-of-date technical manual.

It also said the seats were a "significant hazard" that delayed rescue teams until they were made safe.

The plane's pilot, Andy Hill, was first interviewed by police in December.


The victims:

Image copyright BBC/Sussex Police/Facebook
Image caption (Top row, left to right) Matt Jones, Matthew Grimstone, Jacob Schilt, Maurice Abrahams, Richard Smith. (Bottom row, left to right) Mark Reeves, Tony Brightwell, Mark Trussler, Daniele Polito, Dylan Archer, Graham Mallinson
  • Matt Jones, a 24-year-old personal trainer
  • Matthew Grimstone, 23, a Worthing United footballer who worked as a groundsman at Brighton & Hove Albion
  • Jacob Schilt, also 23 and also a Worthing United player, was travelling to a match with Mr Grimstone
  • Maurice Abrahams, 76, from Brighton, was a chauffeur on his way to pick up a bride on her wedding day
  • Friends Richard Smith, 26, and Dylan Archer, 42, who were going for a bike ride on the South Downs
  • Mark Reeves, 53, had ridden his motorcycle to the perimeter of Shoreham Airport to take photos of the planes
  • Tony Brightwell, 53, from Hove was an aircraft enthusiast and had learnt to fly at Shoreham airfield
  • Mark Trussler, 54, is thought to have been riding his motorcycle on the A27
  • Daniele Polito was travelling in the same car as Mr Jones
  • Graham Mallinson, 72, from Newick, was a keen photographer and retired engineer

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