Last Saturday afternoon, a Hawker-Hunter jet aircraft crashed onto the A27 near Shoreham, West Sussex, killing at least 11 people. The jet had been performing an aerobatics display when it was unable to regain height after a loop-the-loop and came down on the busy road. The wreckage of the aircraft has been removed and a search for further fatalities will continue.
Questions are already being asked about the safety of airshows, but answers will not be able to be given until the cause of this accident has been fully cleared up. One suggestion has been to only allow aerobatics displays over the sea. This reminds me of the Red Arrows display in Stornoway two months ago, when the jets flew partly over land and partly over the sea. Since another serious accident at an airshow at Ramstein (Germany) in 1988, I have always been faintly uneasy about these events - they are inherently risky. Nonetheless, I don't think they should be banned as a knee-jerk reaction to this tragedy. I feel we should find out more, before drawing conclusions.
My thoughts are with the family and friends of those who lost their lives on Saturday.