The pilot of the tragic Shoreham Aircrash in 2015 has appeared in court today to plead not guilty to his charge. He faces 11 counts of manslaughter by gross negligence for the fatal crash and one count of endangering an aircraft under air navigation laws. The courtroom, at Westminster Magistrates’ Court heard from Hill’s defence lawyer that he is no longer flying. In the 14 minute hearing he spoke only to confirm his name, address and date of birth. In a preliminarily investigation it was found that the severity of the outcome was due to ‘absence of provisions’ in relation to the effects of an aircraft crashing in an area outside the control of the organisers of the air show. At the hearing, senior district judge Emma Arbuthnot released him on bail until his next appearance at the Old Bailey next month.
As we have previously reported, Andy Hill from Sandon, Hertfordshire, was performing acrobatics at a Shoreham air display when his 1950’s jet struck several cars on the main road and bystanders of the event itself. Hill was seriously injured in the crash but survived. Police met with families of the eleven victims last month at their HQ in Lewes to confirm that the pilot was facing criminal charges.
An earlier investigation by the Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB) found that Hill failed to gain enough height to complete the ‘bent loop’ that caused the crash. They further found that it would have been possible for him to abandon the manoeuvre but that Hill either deemed it unnecessary or did not know how to pull out. There were eleven victims of the crash, Maurice Abrahams, Graham Mallinson, Richard Smith, Dylan Archer, Richard Smith, Matt Jones,Mark Trussler, Mark Reeves, Anthony Brightwell, Daniele Polito, Matthew Grimstone and Jacob Schilt.