Durham air show to go ahead despite Shoreham disaster

Emergency services attend the scene on the A27 as seven people have died after a plane crashed into cars on the major road during an aerial display. Photo: Daniel Leal-Olivas/PA Wire
Emergency services attend the scene on the A27 as seven people have died after a plane crashed into cars on the major road during an aerial display. Photo: Daniel Leal-Olivas/PA Wire
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An air show in Durham is to go ahead despite the Shoreham disaster in which a Hawker Hunter jet fighter crashed on the A27 in West Sussex.

A spokesman for the Durham Tees Valley Air Show said a minute’s silence would held in tribute to the Shoreham victims at the event on Saturday.

The forthcoming event is one of a host of air shows set to proceed despite the Shoreham tragedy, as it emerged the pilot involved in the crash was due to fly the doomed plane at a Battle of Britain anniversary event next month.

Andy Hill, whose Hawker Hunter jet crashed in a fireball on the A27 in West Sussex on Saturday, was set to fly the plane at the Battle of Britain 75th anniversary show in Duxford, Cambridgeshire, the Imperial War Museum (IWM) said.

A spokeswoman for the museum said the event - which is close to the M11 - would still take place on September 19 and 20 but it would be “revised” following the tragedy.

“The Hawker Hunter T7 was scheduled to fly at The Battle of Britain Air Show at Duxford in September. However, in light of the accident and ongoing investigation, the programme will be revised.”

The spokeswoman declined to comment on whether the revised air show would include a ban on pilots performing certain stunts after the jet crashed when it failed to pull out of a loop-the-loop.

Organisers of the Clacton air show in Essex confirmed their event would go ahead as normal on Thursday and Friday and there were no plans to ban pilots from performing their usual stunts.

Tendring District Council, which runs the show, said it had been in contact with flight consultants and the majority of aircraft flying at the show would be over the sea.

Nigel Brown, the council’s communications manager, said: “There will be no complacency and those people directly involved in the flying displays will be going through all the normal checks and procedures that take place before any event of this kind.

“Safety is - and always will be - our primary concern at all times.”

Organisers at Wings and Wheels in Dunsfold, Surrey, confirmed its event will go ahead as planned on Saturday and Sunday.

A statement on its website read: “We are aware that investigations are already under way into the circumstances of the incident. We await any preliminary findings of the Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB), or the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA).

“Following discussions with our display director, teams and participants, the Dunsfold Wings & Wheels Air Show will continue next weekend.”

Meanwhile, organisers of the Little Gransden Air and Car show in Cambridgeshire said this weekend’s flying display will go ahead.

Spokesman Dave Poile said: “Life must go on. We’re well regulated in accordance with the CAA.”

Bournemouth Air Show also went ahead from August 20 to 23 along the town’s seafront.