Following the tragic accident at Shoreham Airshow on Saturday 22 August 2015 that resulted in a significant loss of life during an authorised public air display and the accident to a Folland Gnat in similar circumstances on Saturday 1 August 2015, the UK’s Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) has instigated an urgent review of the current arrangements for public flying displays in the UK.
As the British Air Display Association (BADA) we are concentrating our support to this work. The association committee and members have many years of experience in all facets of display flying and, at the CAA’s request, BADA are providing assistance to help progress their action plan.
The BADA/MAA/CAA post season symposium in November will provide an update on these activities. However, our immediate wish is that everyone involved in the remaining events of 2015 appreciates the strong imperative to secure the future for the Airshow Industry. Accordingly we all need to be meticulous in adapting to and operating as required by the CAA’s interim measures (Safety Directive SD-2015/003 and Safety Notice SN-2015/003) and it makes eminent sense that:
• All organisers and FDDs re-scrutinise their display location, management arrangements and risk assessments in advance of examination by the CAA’s risk review panel.
• All display pilots ensure they are aware of and ready to adapt appropriately their preparation and intended profiles to meet any necessary changes at the remaining events this year.
We have the support of the viewing public and there has been no sign of a mass defection of organising agencies or sponsors. As the industry ponders the future, it is well to note that from where we look there is no direct competition between shows. Thus, closer co-operation could be part of the way forward. Equally, there is no monopoly on wisdom and the committee would welcome your views and ideas.
We cannot and must not trivialise or forget what has happened but we owe it to the aviation world at large and our show audiences in particular to learn any and all lessons, subscribe to best practice on safety issues and apply ourselves to ensuring a sound future for the Airshow Industry.