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23 April 2024

Pilot whose plane killed 11 at UK airshow cleared of charges

Police Detective Inspector Jon Fanner speaks to the media outside the Old Bailey court in London, after pilot Andrew Hill, whose plane crashed during the Shoreham Airshow killing 11 men, was cleared of manslaughter. (AP)


A pilot whose plane crashed and killed 11 people at an English airshow has been cleared of manslaughter charges

Pilot Andrew Hill was found not guilty of manslaughter at the Old Bailey courthouse Friday.

The 54-year-old pilot said he lost consciousness in the air and experienced “cognitive impairment” while flying.

Prosecutors claimed the crash was a result of pilot error and said Hill had a lax regard for safety procedures.

Hill said outside the courthouse that he is “truly sorry” for his part in the death of the 11 spectators who died at the Shoreham Airshow in southern England on Aug. 22, 2015.

He was performing a stunt in a vintage Hawker Hunter jet when he lost control of the plane.

He was put in an induced coma after the crash and was hospitalized for a month with severe injuries.

Some of the victims’ families wept in the courtroom when the verdict was read.

Sue and Phil Grimstone, whose son Matthew was killed as he drove on the A27 motorway where the plane crashed, said they were “devastated” by the verdict.

“There seems to be no justice for our son Matthew and all 11 men who died in such tragic circumstances,” they said in a statement.

Survivors ran from the fireball that followed the crash and many suffered severe burns.