I was disappointed with the BADA’S rather withering response to the incredibly thorough AAIB report on the Shoreham crash. Whilst the principal factor was indeed a human one, the issues of maintenance, organisation and risk assessment have been exposed as a mess. Complacency and a casual attitude to regulation have clearly crept into the display environment and the regulatory process failed as a result of not capturing this ‘practical drift’. Athony Beech, Brighton by email
As you so rightly pointed out in your April ‘Preflight’, the AAIB and its reports play a huge role not only in improving flight safety but informing and educating at all levels.
When the Shoreham tragedy occurred I was watching the footage on a large screen in the pub, when a regular loudly proclaimed that this was another example of why airshows should be banned. I pointed out to him that airshows are the second largest spectator sport in the UK after football, and asked him if he knew how many spectators had sadly perished at those shows since 1950.
Since he was unaware, I (loudly) pointed out that besides the eleven at Shoreham, albeit beyond the perimeter, there were 29 at Farnborough in 1952. In football, the fatalities at Ibrox in 1971 were 66, Bradford had 56 deaths in 1985, and of course Hillsborough suffered 96 deaths in 1989, making a total of 218. Therefore, I posited, he should consider banning football matches.
I have since pointed out that, following the investigation, changes have been made to airshows and displays, as have modifications to football stadia following the aforementioned disasters but, as usual, if it involves aircraft it gets more, and sometimes sensational coverage. He still stands by his opinion but he did shut up. Thanks for another great issue of a great publication. Viv Wigley, by email