Monday, August 24, 2015

Was Shoreham air show too dangerous for the RED ARROWS? Daredevil display team 'refused to perform because it could lead to a major accident'

Tragedy: A crane today lifts up part of the fuselage of the Hawker jet with RAF insignia on the side from the A27 in West Sussex today where up to 20 people are now feared dead




















The Red Arrows allegedly refuse to fly at the Shoreham Airshow 'every year' because 'there is nowhere to put a plane down without killing someone' as it emerged up to twenty people may have died in the disaster.
Police have confirmed 11 people lost their lives in the jet crash on Saturday but they fear nine more bodies may be found as they used a crane to lift the wreckage of the Hawker from the A27 in West Sussex today.
A personal trainer and two young footballers have been named by loved-ones as victims but up to 17 others may have perished in Britain's worst air disaster for a generation. 
Their bereaved families have demanded to know why an aerobatic display where pilots try daredevil stunts was held next to a busy dual carriageway.
A former airshow promoter, who refused to be named, claims the RAF's world famous Red Arrows display team would never perform at Shoreham because they fear a 'major accident'.
Pilots believe the 'danger level' is 'too high' and turn down the chance to perform 'every year' because any crash would 'be a disaster', he said.


Tragedy: A crane today lifts up part of the fuselage of the Hawker jet with RAF insignia on the side from the A27 in West Sussex today where up to 20 people are now feared dead
Decimated: This is the largest piece of the jet that survived the crash intact as experts piece together what happened in Britain's worst air show disaster for a generation
Decimated: This is the largest piece of the jet that survived the crash intact as experts piece together what happened in Britain's worst air show disaster for a generation
Changes This is moment the Hawker crashed into cars in a ball of flames -  the disaster could now lead to an overhaul of safety rules for British air shows 
Changes This is moment the Hawker crashed into cars in a ball of flames - the disaster could now lead to an overhaul of safety rules for British air shows

He told the 3m360: 'Every year the organisers apply for a Red Arrows display but they turn them down.
'I have friends involved in the organisation of Shoreham Air Show and have been there several times.

MYSTERY SURROUNDS WHY 'UNBELIEVABLY EXPERIENCED' PILOT LOST CONTROL OF JET 

The pilot involved in the Shoreham air disaster was 'unbelievably experienced' and his preparation for air displays was 'second to none', an expert has said.
Andy Hill, is in a critical condition in hospital after his plane slammed into the A27 in West Sussex on Saturday, ploughing through cars on the busy road as it burst into a huge fireball.
The 51-year-old, an instructor who is also a British Airways captain, is considered one of Britain's most experienced captains.  
George Bacon, of the British Air Display Association, said he worked with former RAF instructor Andy Hill at an event earlier this month and he was 'very thorough' in the way he prepared for flights.
He told BBC Breakfast: 'He was an unbelievably experienced chap. Very, very thorough and professional in the way he prepares for his displays. All pilots are required to undertake training and mentoring before they undertake display flying.
'The preparation this particular pilot undertook was second to none. I was involved in another event with him just a week ago and he always would call in, as many of them do, to debrief their last display to try and work out whether there was any better way of doing it.
'Together we will work within the UK to see if we can find other ways of preventing this ever happening again. It was really quite extraordinary.'
Mr Hill is currently in a coma in hospital after he was pulled from the wreckage.
Chris Heames had been die to fly the plane until they swapped a month before the display. 
In a statement his family said: 'Following the tragic events at the Shoreham Air Show on Saturday, the pilot's family are devastated and deeply saddened for the loss of life, and they send their prayers and heartfelt condolences to the families of all those affected at this difficult time'. 
'The Red Arrows refuse to display there as they say the surrounding area is far too dangerous and could lead to a major accident.
'All they will do at Shoreham is a straight fly-past with red, white and blue smoke coming out the back of the jets.
'They have refused point blank to do an acrobatic display. They say there is no fall-out zone and any accident would be a disaster there. There is nowhere for them to put a plane down without killing someone'. 
An RAF source confirmed to MailOnline that Shoreham would be unsuitable for a Red Arrow display.
He said: 'It is not a large enough space for the Red Arrows. An aircraft like the Hunter doesn’t need a large space. If it was big enough we would not refuse.’ 
Today the family of pilot Andy Hill, 51, who is in an induced coma after being pulled from the flaming wreckage of his jet, said they are 'devastated and deeply saddened for the loss of life'.  
Shoreham Airshow's organisers, the Royal Airforces Association, has been forced to defend its safety record after families wanted to know why the pilot tried a dangerous loop manoeuvre over the A27.
Heartbroken relatives last night confirmed that victims include personal trainer Matt Jones and two young footballers, Matthew Grimstone and Jacob Schilt, who were on their way to play in a match for Worthing United.
Daniele Polito, 23, who was with personal trainer Matt Jones in his car and is feared dead while motorcyclist Mark Trussler has not been in contact with his family since the crash. 
The 1950s Hawker plane was taking part in the Shoreham Airshow on Saturday afternoon. Its fuel tanks exploded on impact with the road, turning the aircraft into a fireball that destroyed at least a dozen cars.
Others on motorcycles, bicycles and watching the air show were also killed in the crash.
Police said today they expect to find more bodies and it will take days to examine the crash site.
Assistant chief constable Steve Barry of Sussex Police said: 'It is too early to tell but I'd be surprised if it (the death toll) doesn't go above 11 but if it were below 20 then that would probably be the best estimate I could give you at this stage'. 
He added: 'There are victims that we have in the cars, on motorbikes, pedal cycles and in the seated areas. 
'It makes it very complicated to establish who was where and who we can actually confirm has been a victim of this crash.
'Today there is a plan for a crane to come and the plan is for the plane to be moved and then for the recovery to continue.
'The plane needs to be made safe. There are issues around fuel in the aircraft still and there is an issue around making sure the ejector seat is still safe.
'Hopefully the aircraft will be moved today. What that will uncover in terms of further recovery work is unknown and it's possible that once the aircraft is moved that we will discover more fatalities.
'Once the aircraft is moved then the forensic examination of the scene continues and even then, once that's clear, the highway will need major repairs, so it could be days rather than hours before the A27 is opened.' 
The A27 in West Sussex will be shut for several days for investigators to find out why the Hawker Hunter crashed into the busy road at more than 150mph. 
Pilot Andy Hill is fighting for his life in hospital after he was pulled from the flaming wreckage of his jet.
In a statement his family said: 'Following the tragic events at the Shoreham Air Show on Saturday, the pilot's family are devastated and deeply saddened for the loss of life, and they send their prayers and heartfelt condolences to the families of all those affected at this difficult time.
'Andrew Hill, remains in critical condition. He has multiple injuries and is in a medically induced coma. His family pay tribute to the emergency services for their highly professional response following the accident and to the medical team at the Royal Sussex County Hospital for the care they are continuing to provide to Andrew.'
It emerged today that the pilot who is fighting for his life was not originally listed to be flying the Hawker Hunter. 
It has now been revealed that retired RAF Squadron Leader Chris Heames was originally listed to fly the historic jet on Saturday - but Mr Hill stepped in around two months ago.
The Royal Airforces Association said that the decision to change pilots was 'entirely routine' as they shared their air show commitments between them.
Mr Heames, from Stamford in Lincolnshire, is one of Britain's most experienced pilots with more than 13,500 flying hours inlcuding 6,000 in fast jets and 3.500 in gliders.
He served with Royal Air Force Germany at Bruggen and returned to the UK as an instructor with at RAF Cottesmore. 
Pilot Andy Hill is fighting for his life today but was not originally listed to be flying the Hawker Hunter
Retired RAF Squadron Leader Chris Heames was to fly the jet on Saturday but Mr Hill stepped in around two months ago
Swap: Pilot Andy Hill, left, is fighting for his life today but was not originally listed to be flying the Hawker Hunter -  retired RAF Squadron Leader Chris Heames, right, was to fly the jet on Saturday but Mr Hill stepped in around two months ago when he booked a holiday
Tragic loss: Matt Jones - whose family has been left 'devastated' - is one of the three confirmed victims
Matthew Grimstone has been killed in the disaster
Jacob Schilt also is confirmed dead
Tragic loss: Matt Jones - whose family has been left 'devastated' - is one of the three confirmed victims along with Worthing United teammates Matthew Grimstone (centre) and Jacob Schilt (right) died on Saturday on the way to a match
Missing:  Mark Trussler's fiancée Giovanna, pictured together left, appealed on social media for help him because he has not been heard from since the crash while Daniele Polito, right, is still missing

'Andy and I are two equally experienced and qualified pilots who have flown this plane many times at airshows. He has also flown the same plane there. 
The Shoreham jet crash disaster could lead to an overhaul of safety rules for British air shows.
The Civil Aviation Authority has now announced to 'thoroughly examine' the crash before reviewing rules which govern the performance of aerobatics in built-up areas.  
Victim: Personal trainer Matt Jones was giving a friend a lift when he was killed in Shoreham, in the car behind him
Victim: Personal trainer Matt Jones was giving a friend a lift when he was killed in Shoreham, in the car behind him
It means crowds could now be forced to watch displays from hundreds of metres away, while new minimum heights for stunts could also be introduced.  
The families of the dead have demanded to know why the Shoreham air display could go ahead at all because of its proximity to the A27.
There are also deep concerns about why the pilot tried the loop over the road rather than over empty fields or the nearby Channel. 
But Mr Heames says that airports are almost always next to main roads and maintains Shoreham is safe.
He said: 'I flew the same plane at the same event last year and the year before. I have no concerns over safety there.
'It very clear where you have to fly and it's very carefully planned.
'Also there is not an airport in the country that is not next a busy road. A few years ago a plane ended up on a road close to Heathrow. It happens'. 
The Royal Air Forces Association, who organised the show, said safety standards at air displays in Britain 'are among the very highest in the world'.
It added: 'All air display arrangements, including the pilots and aircraft, must meet rigorous safety requirements and are regularly reviewed to ensure they provide the highest possible levels of protection.
'At Shoreham we have always taken those safety arrangements very seriously.' 
The Red Arrows are said to have refused to perform at Shoreham because of the risk.
A source told the Mirror: 'The Red Arrows refuse to display there as they say the surrounding area is far too dangerous and could lead to a major accident.
'All they will do at Shoreham is a straight fly-past with red, white and blue smoke coming out the back of the jets.
'They have refused point blank to do an acrobatic display. They say there is no fall-out zone and any accident would be a disaster there.
'There is nowhere for them to put a plane down without killing someone'. 
Lancing College, which sits beside the A27, always evacuates its building in case of disasters.
A series of devastating social media messages from the sister of Shoreham air crash victim Matt Jones have revealed the family's anguish.
As news of the the worst air disaster for a generation began to circulate on Saturday afternoon, Becky Jones nervously phoned her brother Matt to check he was okay.
The personal trainer had finished work and was heading along the A27 to join his friends at the beach to enjoy one of the hottest days of the year. 
Mr Jones, 24, always had his phone on but it was going to voicemail. So Miss Jones went on Facebook to see if anyone knew where he was.
Posting at 5pm – four hours after the crash – she wrote: 'Has anyone heard from my brother Matt Jones since the plane crash today? He was on the Shoreham road when it happened and he hasn't come home.
'He has always got his phone on and it's just going to voicemail. He finished work at 1pm so would have been passing the airport at 1.20 when the crash happened.
'All the police have said is that seven confirmed motorists are dead and lots more in critical condition, but they haven't released any names yet.'
An hour later, she posted: 'He was giving someone a lift and his mate's phone's off as well and no one has heard from either of them.'
Three hours later, Miss Jones, 26, from Littlehampton, posted again to say: 'He's ok everyone. We haven't spoken to him but his mate just called to say he's been seen at the beach.'
Friends expressed their relief, with one saying: 'Thank God! Glad he's ok.'
Then, in a heartbreaking post shortly afterwards, Miss Jones said: 'Back to square one guys – the person that said they were with Matt actually aren't.' She added: 'Matt Jones, where are you?' 
Death rise: Forensics begin to comb the crash zone today where up to 20 people died on Saturday when the Hawker jet ploughed into traffic on the A27
Death rise: Forensics begin to comb the crash zone today where up to 20 people died on Saturday when the Hawker jet ploughed into traffic on the A27
Recovery: Swathes of the road have been taped off today as a crane, at the top of the picture, is brought in to lift the jet
Recovery: Swathes of the road have been taped off today as a crane, at the top of the picture, is brought in to lift the jet
Clear-up: The operation to recover the victims, the jet and the cars will last several days because of the size of the operation, police said today
Clear-up: The operation to recover the victims, the jet and the cars will last several days because of the size of the operation, police said today
Search: Emergency service workers in protective overalls walk on to the A27 as the hunt for more victims continues
Search: Emergency service workers in protective overalls walk on to the A27 as the hunt for more victims continues

AIR SHOW BOSS COMES UNDER FIRE FOR REFUSING TO RULKE OUT DISPLAYS HELD OVER LAND

The chairman of the British Air Display Association has come under fire after refusing to be drawn on whether acrobatic flights should be banned from taking place over land.
When questioned repeatedly on the subject during an appearance on Radio 4's Today show, John Turner insisted that a full investigation must take place before any action is taken.
He said achieving safety at air displays is 'far more complex' than saying the shows must only happen over water.
The former RAF pilot said a 'question of balance' had to be considered following the Shoreham air disaster because air shows earn millions of pounds each year for local businesses and charities.
John Turner, the chairman of the British Air Display Association, has come under fire after refusing to be drawn on whether acrobatic flights should be banned from taking place over land
John Turner, the chairman of the British Air Display Association, has come under fire after refusing to be drawn on whether acrobatic flights should be banned from taking place over land
He said: 'We've had 63 years of accident free operations at air shows in the United Kingdom. That reflects the rules and regulations we already have in place.
'Obviously we've had an accident. But it's important we know and understand precisely why, so we can make the right corrective actions, otherwise we simply make misguided changes without really knowing the full facts.
'The precise locations and how you achieve aviation safely is a far more complex thing than saying 'just do it here'. There are many more factors involved.' 
But his comments have prompted a furious reaction on social media, with some accusing him of disregarding public safety. 
John Youles ‏tweeted: 'Unbelievable - John Turner refusing to concede that air stunts over built up area more dangerous than if over sea.'
One listener tweeted: 'John Turner was a disgrace. He is clearly putting self interest first. Otherwise he would have simply said 'yes' to a simple?' 

Desperate: The jet disappeared behind the tree line as it was just a few feet above the A27 road which was packed with cars at the time
Tragedy: The plane crashed in a fiery explosion on the nearby A27, which runs alongside the airfield
Tragedy: The plane crashed in a fiery explosion on the nearby A27, which runs alongside the airfield
The Civil Aviation Authority has vowed to rethink guidelines after a Hawker hunter jet ploughed into traffic on the A27 in West Sussex in the worst air show disaster in a generation 
The Civil Aviation Authority has vowed to rethink guidelines after a Hawker hunter jet ploughed into traffic on the A27 in West Sussex in the worst air show disaster in a generation 
Fears: Although many victims were in their cars there are concerns about the group, circled, watching the display where the jet came down
Fears: Although many victims were in their cars there are concerns about the group, circled, watching the display where the jet came down

He is one of the three confirmed victims. Miss Jones wrote on Facebook: 'Thank you to everyone who has messaged me. We are devastated to say Matt Jones was one of the fatalities.'
His mother yesterday described him as an 'absolute diamond'. Hazel Jones, 59, said: 'Matt was my boy, a lovely boy. He was an absolute diamond.' 
Mr Jones had recently returned from travelling to India and Australia and had just qualified as a personal trainer.
Worthing United footballers Matt Grimstone and Jacob Schilt, both 23, and from Brighton, were also among the victims.
They had been on their way to play in a 3pm match against Loxwood FC when they were caught up in the tragedy.
And Mr Grimstone's mother last night criticised the decision to hold the airshow in a built up area near a main road. 
Speaking from her home in Brighton, Sue Grimstone told The Daily Telegraph: 'Air shows should be over the sea. It should never have been over that road. It's such a waste.' 
Mr Grimstone, who was a goalkeeper with the non-league club, was 'the kindest person you could ever meet, with a great wit', his family said.
His parents Sue and Phil and brothers David and Paul, from Littlehampton, Sussex, said they were in 'total shock'.
Worthing United chairman Steve Taylor said the club was 'devastated' by the loss. 
Worthing – who play in the Southern Combination League – called off the match after hearing news of the tragedy.
The Football Association also paid tribute to the players, tweeting: 'We are saddened to hear two members of the football family were killed in the Shoreham air disaster.
'Our thoughts are with their family, friends, team-mates and all others affected.'
The family of Mr Schilt, who is believed to work as a Sainsbury's delivery driver, were too upset to talk last night. 
Fears are for a motorcycling enthusiast whose family said they had not heard from him since the day of the Shoreham air disaster.
Mark Trussler's fiancée appealed on social media for help to find the 49-year-old, poignantly adding that she was 'hoping he just doesn't have mobile signal'.
Giovanna Chirico, 33, wrote on Facebook on Saturday: 'Mark Trussler missing was riding an all black motorbike … he was at Shoreham airport today.'
While there was no confirmation from the authorities that Mr Trussler, pictured, was one of the victims, his motorbike was said by friends to have been found near the site of the crash. Tearful relatives at the family home in Worthing, West Sussex, yesterday declined to talk to reporters.
Miss Chirico's Facebook page was covered in messages from concerned friends asking for news.
The death toll from the Shoreham air disaster will rise beyond the current total of 11, police said last night.
Rescuers expect to find more charred remains today when they start moving the wreckage of burnt-out cars and the crashed jet. 
Witnesses have described seeing the jet stall during a loop-the-loop stunt at the airshow and fail to complete the manoeuvre
Witnesses have described seeing the jet stall during a loop-the-loop stunt at the airshow and fail to complete the manoeuvre
Coming down: Witnesses described seeing the jet stall during the loop-the-loop stunt (pictured) at the airshow and fail to complete the manoeuvre. There have been questions over whether it should have happened
Thick smoke: Sussex Police said it might take several days to reopen the road because it suffered extensive damage in the crash 
Thick smoke: Sussex Police said it might take several days to reopen the road because it suffered extensive damage in the crash 
Map: The Hawker Hunter crashed on the main A27 just north of Brighton City Airport - killing 11 people on the ground, according to police
Map: The Hawker Hunter crashed on the main A27 just north of Brighton City Airport - killing 11 people on the ground, according to police
Rebecca and Rajendran Asekaran (pictured) went ahead with their big day and only found out about the Shoreham Airshow disaster which claimed the lives of 11 people after the ceremony
Rebecca and Rajendran Asekaran (pictured) went ahead with their big day and only found out about the Shoreham Airshow disaster which claimed the lives of 11 people after the ceremony
The couple's driver was on his way to collect the bride from her home  when a Hawker Hunter fighter jet smashed into the luxury Daimler (pictured) and ripped off the vintage car's roof on the A27
The couple's driver was on his way to collect the bride from her home when a Hawker Hunter fighter jet smashed into the luxury Daimler (pictured) and ripped off the vintage car's roof on the A27

Tributes left to Matthew Grimstone and Jacob Schilt at Worthing United FC, who two young footballers played for
Guests saw pictures of a burnt-out Daimler limousine on the internet and concluded the wedding car must have been caught up in the fireball on the A27.
The newlyweds said in a statement: 'It's a shock – we only found out through social media – our thoughts are with his family.' 
David Learmount, an aviation expert, said Mr Hill, who was an RAF Harrier pilot, either lost consciousness or became distracted.
'He could have pulled up harder which adds fuel to the theory that he was unconscious,' he said.
'He didn't come out of the roll at the same altitude he went in at, which would have