Sussex

Shoreham air crash trial: Loop manoeuvre 'could be taught in 10 minutes'

Andew Hill arriving at court Image copyright PA
Image caption Andrew Hill denies 11 counts of manslaughter by gross negligence

A former Red Arrows pilot has said the kind of loop that went wrong at the Shoreham Airshow, killing 11 men in a crash, should be so simple he could teach it in 10 minutes.

Andrew Cubin told the Old Bailey he would always abandon the manoeuvre if the aircraft did not achieve speed and full power at the start of the pull up.

"Keep it simple. I could teach you to do one in 10 minutes," he said.

Pilot Andrew Hill, 54, denies 11 counts of manslaughter by gross negligence.

The 1950s Hawker Hunter he was flying crashed on to the A27 in Sussex and exploded on 22 August 2015.

Mr Cubin was asked if he ever used flaps in excess of the speed limit in the pilot's notes, which say they should not be used above 300 knots.

Giving evidence on behalf of the defence, he said he would not break that limit.

Mr Cubin also told the court he would never use flaps in loops himself.

The jury had previously heard Mr Hill claim he had been taught to use flaps in displays at speeds of up to 400 knots.

The prosecution allege Mr Hill made a decision to add flap at the top of the loop.

Cross-examining the defence, prosecutor Tom Kark QC said Mr Cubin had told the court on Monday: "I can't think why someone would add flap unless to tighten the turn - you get more turn for your money."

Mr Cubin agreed that in general if a pilot wanted to diminish their level of height loss then flap might be added.

Judge Andrew Edis interjected: "If it was a deliberate decision - rather than flying an escape manoeuvre, once he established he was too low - to use flap instead, that would be seriously substandard flying?"

"Yes absolutely," Mr Cubin replied.

"To you as a pilot it would be anathema?" Mr Kark asked.

"I am astonished Mr Hill is still alive from that position," Mr Cubin said.

The trial continues.

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