'No abnormalities' with Shoreham jet, interim report finds

Plane crash Image copyright eddie mitchell
Image caption Eleven people died in the crash on the A27 in Shoreham last month

The jet which crashed at the Shoreham air show killing 11 people showed "no abnormal indications" during its flight, an initial report has found.

The Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB) report said cockpit footage showed the plane "responding to the pilot's control inputs".

It also said pilot Andy Hill was thrown clear of the aircraft during the later part of the crash on 22 August.

The AAIB said it was not clear whether Mr Hill initiated his ejection.

The 51-year-old pilot is currently in a serious but stable condition in hospital.

The report says the Hawker Hunter's canopy was released at the initial impact. At this time fuel and fuel vapour was released and then ignited.

The jet split into four parts and both Mr Hill and his seat were thrown clear of the cockpit.

The report states: "The investigation continues to determine if the pilot attempted to initiate ejection or if the canopy and pilot's seat were liberated as a result of impact damage to the cockpit."

Image copyright Reuters
Image caption The crash site was littered with wreckage from the jet.

The AAIB's report also revealed there was no "blackbox" flight recorder on the vintage jet, however, there were two cameras positioned in the cockpit.

It revealed: "To date, no abnormal indications have been identified [from the footage].

"Throughout the flight, the aircraft appeared to be responding to the pilot's control inputs."

The AAIB said it has received a "large amount" of video footage and photographs of the aircraft, many of which were taken in high resolution, from a variety of locations on and around Shoreham Airport.

It said an analysis of the still and moving images using "photogrammetry techniques" will be undertaken to establish the parameters of the aircraft's manoeuvres, including flight path and speed.

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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