We would like to react to the tragic incidents that occurred in Shoreham and Dittingen over the weekend. On Saturday August 22nd we saw the dramatic crash of a Hunter in the UK, another incident occurred today in Switzerland, during an airshow in Dittingen.
First of all we express our support and condolences for the families and friends of the victims. As airshow organizers, we work hard in our own country as well as in Europe, to professionalise everybody involved in airshows. As an organizer of whatever type of event we think it is our duty to do so.
We do not personally know the pilot or the organisers of the Shoreham Airshow, even though the airshow exists for years. The organisers are not a member of the European Airshow Council (EAC), but of the British BADA association. It is tragic the people became victims of the incident. As an organization we continuously work to mitigate the risks for visitors and the neighborhood; Traditionally UK has high standards and an outstanding reputation in terms of safety at airshows.
The organisers of the Dittingen airshow are long-time members of the EAC. In Dittingen, one of the pilots did not survive the incident. The other other pilot was able to land. There were no casualties on the ground.
Today it is too early to comment on the causes of both incidents. For that, we need to await the outcome of the investigation that is currently under way.
The damage that has been caused is severe but exceptional. We are convinced that we should proceed, together with the airforce and her experts, with the work that we have been doing over the past few years. The fascination for aviation in general and the interest in airshow among the audience is big. Next to state of the art planes and technology, also the historical element is of great importance..
We respect the obligation to adhere to very strict regulations. Every participant has to perform a mandatory rehearsal flight prior to the airshow, so that corrections or a stop of the show can be implemented if needed. During an airshow a flight safety committee of at least 3 experienced pilots, that are in constant and direct contact with the display director, will monitor every display.