By: 11 March 2016
Aviation regulators and airshow organisers may well have contributed to Shoreham Airshow Disaster, says Stewarts Law

Aviation regulators and airshow organisers may well have contributed to the 2015 Shoreham Airshow Disaster by failing to fulfil their obligations to public safety before, and during the event, according to Stewarts Law.

A bulletin released by the Air Accident Investigation Branch (AAIB) on the Shoreham Airshow Disaster, which resulted in the loss of 11 lives on 22 August 2015, highlights serious concerns over the aviation regulations that govern public airshows, as well as risk assessments that are carried out by airshow organisers.

It also points out how an important previous safety recommendation from the AAIB in 2009, after an earlier fatal Hawker crash at Shoreham Airshow in 2007, was not properly implemented by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA). It also points the finger at the Shoreham organiser for not conducting an adequate risk assessment for the 2015 event.

James Healy-Pratt, head of Aviation & Travel at Stewarts Law, the firm which is representing the majority of families that lost loved ones in the disaster, said that the report made very difficult reading for his clients.

“It highlights missed opportunities by aviation regulators and airshow organisers to do their jobs properly,” he said.

“The CAA failed as a regulator in properly implementing a safety recommendation made over six years ago by the AAIB from a fatal Hawker crash at Shoreham in 2007. The 2015 Shoreham Airshow Organiser also failed to conduct a proper risk assessment. Both these failures may well have been contributing factors in this disaster. These will be important matters to be raised at the Shoreham Airshow pre-inquest review hearing later this month.”