Graphic Video: Hawker Hunter jet crashes into cars at Shoreham Airshow in UK

Major incident at UK airshow.

At about 1.20PM LT the two seat Hawker Hunter T.Mk.7 WV372 crashed into cars on A27 in West Sussex during its display at Shoreham air show near Brighton.

Shoreham airshow website says that the T.Mk.7 was a two seat development of the F.Mk.4, the RAF’s standard day-fighter. WV372 is owned by Graham Peacock and is based at North Weald Airfield in Essex. It carried the markings of No. 2(AC) Squadron when they were based at RAF Gutersloh in Germany. WV372 has been active on the display circuit for many years, first with Jet Heritage at Bournemouth before passing through several other owners and operators.

Based on the video posted on Youtube, the Hunter was performing a loop that it didn’t manage to close.

According to the first reports, 7 people died as a consequence of the incident.

 

About David Cenciotti
David Cenciotti is a journalist based in Rome, Italy. He is the Founder and Editor of “The Aviationist”, one of the world’s most famous and read military aviation blogs. Since 1996, he has written for major worldwide magazines, including Air Forces Monthly, Combat Aircraft, and many others, covering aviation, defense, war, industry, intelligence, crime and cyberwar. He has reported from the U.S., Europe, Australia and Syria, and flown several combat planes with different air forces. He is a former 2nd Lt. of the Italian Air Force, a private pilot and a graduate in Computer Engineering. He has written five books and contributed to many more ones.

11 Comments

  1. “I don’t know why they fly these old planes”.

    Because they represent British engineering at its pinnacle. They are some of the best maintained aircraft out there, and this will have been the result of pilot error.

    • It’s out of line and irresponsible to say something like that. We don’t know if this was cause by a problem with flight controls, some other aircraft system, error, or something else.

      • Did look very low to be trying to complete the manoeuvre to my untrained eye (though I have been to a lot of flying displays). Now – today – it seems as if a credible expert in the shape of an ex-RAF instructor agrees. It looks increasingly like pilot error – but the final investigation will hopefully pinpoint what actually went wrong. It’s important it comes out – however painful it is. So sad for all the victims – especially those only in their twenties.

        • Again, WE DON’T KNOW THAT. I’m not trying to disrespect an ex-RAF instructor but he’s not clairvoyant. It could be pilot error. It could’ve been an engine problem. Maybe the jet lost all hydraulics or had some major fault that resulted in flight control actuators operating sluggishly. Maybe a nut vibrated loose and jammed the control stick. There’s a thousand possibilities (probably more).

    • It’s possible he was in a high-speed stall by the time he impacted the ground. Tragic accident by a highly accomplished pilot. The footage reminds me of this famous Thunderbird crash photo from several years ago. In that accident, the pilot was too low when he initiated a split-S maneuver.

  2. Looks like he was just a little low coming out that turn. Not a loop as commonly reported in the British press. Saw this display at Cosford. Real shame.

    • Definitely a loop, you can see him upside-down at the top of the loop around 23s into the video.
      Starts climbing 10s, vertical by 15s, upside-down around 23s vertically downwards around 27s and reaches the bottom at around 36s but too close to the ground and still losing height.

      • Technically, it doesn’t seem a “pure” loop even if initially I thought so; it’s more a reverse half cuban eight.

  3. RIP to the victims. Get well, Andy Hill. Must be in bad shape, I’m not sure how one survives that.

  4. Lots of very shoddy and poor media coverage of this tragedy. Unfortunately the CAA has been forced into a knee jerk reaction of banning “high energy aerobatics” of vintage aircraft over land.

    It’s worth pointing out that this is the first time anybody on the ground has been killed at an airshow in the UK since 1952, and that even taking into account Saturday’s tragedy more people have died at football matches in the UK in the last 30 years than have died at airshows.

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