Shoreham air disaster inquest date to be confirmed at review

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A pre-inquest review will take place on Tuesday into the Shoreham air disaster in which 11 men died nearly two years ago.

The crash happened when a vintage Hawker Hunter jet plummeted onto the A27 in West Sussex during a loop-the-loop stunt at the Shoreham Airshow on August 22, 2015.

Its pilot, Andrew Hill, 53, is being investigated for possible manslaughter by gross negligence. He has been questioned voluntarily under caution by police.

It is hoped the full inquest date will be confirmed at the pre-inquest review, which will be held by West Sussex coroner Penelope Schofield.

No evidence will be heard at the hearing, which will be administrative and may lead to a further pre-inquest review being pencilled in before the full inquest.

The pre-inquest review had to be rescheduled from March due to the ongoing police investigation and to allow a final report from the Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB) to be considered.

The final AAIB report, published in March, found that Mr Hill, from Sandon, Hertfordshire, was flying too slow and too low during the loop manoeuvre.

Investigators said the speed that the 1955 Hawker Hunter plane entered the manoeuvre was too low and it failed to use maximum thrust.

Measures taken to mitigate the effects of an aircraft crashing outside the air show's boundary were "ineffective" and contributed to the severity of the crash toll, they added.

The AAIB made a total of 32 safety recommendations for the CAA, including 10 in the final report. The CAA said it would act on them "as a priority".

The 11 men who died were: wedding chauffeur Maurice Abrahams, 76, from Brighton; retired engineer James Graham Mallinson, 72, from Newick, near Lewes; window cleaner and builder Mark Trussler, 54, from Worthing; cycling friends Dylan Archer, 42, from Brighton, and Richard Smith, 26, from Hove; NHS manager Tony Brightwell, 53, from Hove; grandfather Mark Reeves, 53, from Seaford; Worthing United footballers Matthew Grimstone and Jacob Schilt, both 23; personal trainer Matt Jones, 24; and Daniele Polito, 23, from Worthing.

Shoreham Airshow organisers have said it was unlikely they will stage "the same or similar style event" in the future.

The pre-inquest review will be held at Centenary House, Woodfield Road, Crawley, at 10.30am.