Shoreham Airshow trial: pilot Andy Hill had 'no recollection' of events leading up to tragic plane crash

Andy Hill said he would not normally fly dedicated practices of his displays in the Hawker Hunter. Picture: Getty Images
Andy Hill said he would not normally fly dedicated practices of his displays in the Hawker Hunter. Picture: Getty Images

Pilot Andy Hill told police he had ‘no recollection’ of his tragic jet plane crash at the Shoreham Airshow in 2015.

Hill’s crash while attempting a loop stunt in a Hawker Hunter led to the deaths of 11 men.

The Shoreham Airshow tragedy led to the death of 11 men

The Shoreham Airshow tragedy led to the death of 11 men

Hill, 54, of Standon Road, Buntingford, faces 11 charges of manslaughter by gross negligence. He has pleaded not guilty to all charges.

In statements issued to police in 2017, Hill said that he could not remember the events leading up to the disaster, or the crash itself.

The prosecution say that ‘pilot error’ and negligence led to the deaths of 11 men.

Hill’s defence team have argued that he was cognitively impaired at some point during the flight and was not in control during the fateful ‘bent loop’ stunt.

The jury at the Old Bailey in London heard that Hill had submitted all required paperwork before the fateful Shoreham display.

Practices a ‘considerable expense’ for the aircraft owner

The trial heard that Hill would not normally practice his displays in the Hunter.

The pilot told police in 2017: “The Hunter was very expensive to operate and to use the aircraft for practice would have been a considerable expense for the owner

“A special practice would not normally be flown.”

He said that he would only fly practice displays if it was required to meet Civil Aviation Authority rules.

READ MORE: Shoreham Airshow crash trial hears from eyewitnesses who narrowly escaped with their lives

‘No recollection’ of the tragedy at Shoreham

Hill said in his statement: “I have no recollection of the accident or the events leading up to it

“It is possible I experienced ALOC [altered level of consciousness].

“It is also possible that I may have suffered a cognitive impairment for other reasons or a medical issue.”

The pilot said he did not remember blacking out from G forces at any point in his flying career.

READ MORE: Shoreham airshow crash pilot was 1,000 feet too low for loop-the-loop, prosecutors say

Anti-G suit ‘would not work’

Hill told police that he experienced lower levels of G-force in the Hawker Hunter than in other aircraft he flew.

However he noted that those levels of G-force were experienced for significantly longer stretches of time.

He added that he always flew the Hawker Hunter wearing an ‘anti-G’ flying suit, but that it sometimes ‘would not work’.

READ MORE: Ryanair captain saw Andy Hill perform banned manoeuvre at practice

Instrument checks

Hill told police that instrument checks during flights differ from pilot to pilot.

He added that he would not regularly check the G-force meter as it was hard to see from where he would sit.

Moving to other instruments he said: “I do not recall misreading an altimeter in my flying career.”

The trial continues.

MORE FROM THE TRIAL: 'No evidence' that aircraft fault contributed to Shoreham airshow crash