The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) in the U.K. has announced “a series of immediate restrictions and changes to UK civil air displays” in light of the fatal crash at Shoreham Airshow on Saturday August 22nd. At least 11 people are feared dead in the accident that occurred when a vintage Hawker Hunter fighter jet struck several vehicles on a busy highway.
The Hawker Hunter aircraft (registration G-BXFI) that was destroyed at the Shoreham Airshow on Saturday, photographed during a 2013 performance at Old Warden.
The new restrictions include the grounding of all Hawker Hunter aircraft as of Saturday August 22nd. This is a temporary restriction that will remain in place until the CAA states otherwise. Additionally, officials have “significantly restricted” all vintage jet aircraft from conducting flying displays over land until further notice. These aircraft are now limited to “flypasts,” which means the type of “high energy” aerobatics (such as the loop display that the Hawker Hunter was attempting when the crash occurred) are no longer permitted.
Video of the crash at Shoreham taken from a dash cam on a nearby vehicle.
The CAA also announced that they are conducting additional risk assessments on all upcoming civil air shows in order to gauge what additional steps should be taken to ensure public safety. A “full review” of civil air display safety began on Sunday August 23, with meetings ongoing.
The cause of Saturday’s terrible accident is still under review. Authorities still haven’t been able to confirm the death toll, although they have stated that it is likely to continue to rise. The horrific scene at Shoreham follows closely after the crash of a Folland Gnat antique warbird on August 1st. These events have caused many to question the safety of vintage aircraft performing risky air show displays in recent days.
Photo credit: Crane removing Hawker Hunter wreckage - Matt Dunham/AP, G-BXFI in flight - Alan Wilson/Wikicommons, Shoreham memorial - Matt Dunham/AP
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