Information on the inquests into the 11 deaths that occurred on the A27 during the Shoreham Airshow on 22 August 2015.

Latest news

Read all the news on the inquest since 2017.

1 2022

February 2022

Update on the High Court application

On Friday 4 February 2022 the High Court delivered its judgment refusing the Senior Coroner’s application for access to the cockpit video of the crash flight and other material from the criminal trial of the pilot. Find details about the judgement.

January 2022

The full inquests scheduled in February/March 2022 have unfortunately been postponed. New inquest dates will be set following the pre-inquest review (PIR) hearing on Friday 11 February 2022.

2 2021

Update on the High Court hearing on 20 December 2021

The High Court has reserved its judgement. It will be handed down in the new year when the High Court resumes its sitting. The pre-inquest review hearing on 6 January has therefore been adjourned while the decision of the High Court is awaited.

December 2021

The Senior Coroner’s Part 8 application to the High Court will be heard by a Divisional Court (consisting of Lady Justice Sharp, the President of the Queen’s Bench Division and Mr Justice Saini). This will be held on Monday 20 December 2021 at the Royal Courts of Justice in London. It is understood that this will be a hybrid hearing with remote access available.

All enquiries about that hearing, including any requests to access the hearing, should be directed to the High Court.

A further pre-inquest review hearing (that will be heard remotely) is scheduled for Thursday 6 January 2021. However, this hearing is likely to be adjourned if the decision from the High Court has not been handed down by that date.

The inquest hearings are presently scheduled to commence on Monday 28 February 2022. Those dates may be subsequently revised in light of the High Court’s decision.

June 2021

Following the Coroner’s ruling at the pre-inquest review hearing held on 26 April 2021, the Coroner has now formally lodged a Part 8 application at the High Court. This requests access to certain 'Protected material' from the criminal trial as part of her investigation into the death of the 11 men who died at the Shoreham Aircrash.

It is unfortunate that any High Court hearing will not be taking place until the autumn. As the inquest cannot proceed until the outcome of the High Court hearing, it is with some regret that the Coroner has decided to postpone the inquest dates in October.

The families have been informed and the Coroner has provisionally secured a new date from 7 February-18 March 2022.

April 2021

At the pre-inquest review heard on 26 April 2021 the Senior Coroner handed down her ruling explaining why she will be applying to the High Court for access to material from the criminal trial of the Shoreham pilot. This has protected status under Air Accident Investigation Regulations. Ms Schofield’s formal ruling is available below.

Ms Schofield also formally made public her ruling (that had already been provided to all interested persons on 26 February 2021), declining to stand down from hearing these inquests.

3 2020

May 2020

The inquests into the deaths of the 11 men at the Shoreham Aircrash will now be postponed until 2021 to allow families to attend in person.

The full inquest was due to go ahead this autumn. However, due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, it has been agreed with the families of the victims that the inquests could not take place safely in open court this September as originally planned. A future date, likely to be in June or September 2021, will be confirmed as soon as possible.

West Sussex Senior Coroner, Penelope Schofield, said: “I have expressed my extreme regret to all the families that there is to be a further delay to proceedings, but I will not be able to hear these inquests, as planned, later this year.

“With 11 bereaved families and several other interested parties, lawyers, press and public it seems likely that well over 150 people would wish to attend court. I anticipate the threat of COVID-19, the potential for its transmission and the consequent disruption of in-person proceedings will not have receded by the autumn.

“My present view is that these inquests are not ones that are appropriate to be held remotely given the importance to the families of being fully involved in the hearings, the benefits of hearing the first-hand evidence in person and the overall public interest.”

The pre-inquest review hearing is still due to take place on 24 June 2020, but Ms Schofield has confirmed this will be conducted via a remote hearing.

January 2020

A date has been set for the full inquest of the Shoreham Airshow crash victims by West Sussex Coroner, Penelope Schofield.

The full inquest will take place for up to six weeks and is planned to run from Monday 14 September at the Coroner's Court, Centenary House, Crawley.

Before the full inquest, there will be one further pre-inquest review, due to take place on Wednesday 24 June. This will be held to agree the list of required witnesses and finalise any other administrative matters.

The dates were announced at a pre-inquest review on Wednesday 29 January held at the Coroner's Court in Crawley.

At this hearing the coroner also ruled that she will not be sitting with a jury: “I have taken into account all the views of the interested persons, but it is my view that there is not sufficient reason for departing from the presumption in Schedule 1 Para 11(3) Coroners in Justice Act 2009 in favour of me sitting alone without a jury.

"I do accept that this case raises questions on matter of great public importance. However, as a Coroner I will be able to make very detailed and reasoned factual findings, which will be announced publicly. It is my position that public interest can be better served by sitting alone."

4 2019

August 2019

Following the Air Accidents Investigation Branch’s decision not to re-open investigation into the Shoreham Airshow crash, the West Sussex Coroner has set a date for the next pre-inquest review.

It will take place on Wednesday 29 January at the Coroner’s Court, Centenary House, Crawley.

It is anticipated that the Coroner will be looking to set the dates of the final inquest.

July 2019

A decision on when to hold the inquest into the deaths of 11 people who died following the Shoreham Airshow crash in 2015 has been delayed.

At the pre-inquest review hearing held today at Crawley Coroner’s Court, Coroner Penelope Schofield advised the families that it was not possible to fix the inquest hearing dates. She explained there had been recent correspondence from the Government Legal Service indicating that the Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB) was now considering whether to reopen its investigation into this air crash.

The Coroner advised that the AAIB would be confirming its position on 2 August 2019.

Should there be a further investigation by AAIB this may cause the inquest to be delayed until the later part of 2020.

The Coroner is aware of the delay and in particular that we are approaching the fourth anniversary of the crash.

West Sussex Senior Coroner, Penelope Schofield, told the families: “I do appreciate that this is a very difficult time for you and I will do everything I can to get the inquest listed as soon as possible. However, we are very much in the hands of the AAIB and the decision that they make.”

A further pre-inquest will be held later in the year.

April 2019

9 April

At the pre-inquest review hearing held Monday 8 April into the Shoreham air crash, the Coroner indicated to the families that she wanted to be able to set a firm date for the inquest as soon as reasonably practicable.

The review heard that following the conclusion of the criminal trial it is now necessary for the families to be provided with disclosure of the documentation held by Sussex Police. It has not been possible to provide this disclosure until the criminal trial was concluded.

West Sussex Senior Coroner, Penelope Schofield, told the families: “I will do everything I can to get the inquest listed as soon as possible and find a suitable venue.”

Ms Schofield indicated the first two days of the inquests will be set aside to allow the families to provide the space to remember their loved ones and to share this with the inquest.

A further pre-inquest will be held in July, at which time it is hoped that the final inquest dates will be announced.

5 April

The pre-inquest review into the 11 deaths following the Shoreham air crash will take place on Monday 8 April at 2.00pm at Crawley Town Hall, The Boulevard, Crawley RH10 1UZ.

It is anticipated a decision will be made with regards to the scope and format of the forthcoming inquest with the final dates for the inquest being set.

The criminal trial has concentrated on the actions of the pilot, Andy Hill, but the Coroner at the inquest can consider other wider issues that are linked to the deaths of the 11 people. The Coroner may consider, having heard the evidence, whether or not she needs to make any Regulation 28 Reports (prevention of future deaths reports) relating to the organisation and planning of future air shows.

5 2018

March 2018

A pre-inquest review into the 11 deaths following the Shoreham air crash due to take place on Monday 26 March has been postponed.

West Sussex Senior Coroner, Penelope Schofield, has taken the decision following the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) decision to bring charges against the pilot. The Coroner has set the next review for Friday 22 February 2019, to allow for the criminal proceedings.

Due to the nature of the charges, the full inquest must now await the conclusion of the criminal case. The Coroner has said she does not anticipate the full inquest will take place until mid to late 2019 and will continue to keep the matter under review to ensure that the inquests take place as soon as is reasonably possible.

January 2018

The pre-inquest review into the 11 deaths following the Shoreham air crash due to take place on Wednesday 24 January has been postponed.

West Sussex Senior Coroner, Penelope Schofield, said the CPS had recently notified her that no decision would be reached before the date of the pre inquest review on whether or not the pilot of the aircraft will be charged with any criminal offences.

The pre inquest review has been rescheduled for Monday 26 March.

The Coroner has informed the families of the new date.

She described the decision to postpone as regrettable, but with no decision from the CPS that little progress could be made.

She indicated she was still working towards holding the full inquest in the autumn if no criminal charges are brought.

The inquest may have to be suspended if the CPS decides to bring criminal charges.

6 2017

November 2017

The West Sussex Senior Coroner, Penelope Schofield, has been told that Sussex Police’s full file into the Shoreham air crash is now with the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS). Ms Schofield has written to the families of the 11 men killed in the air crash in August 2015 to share the update.

Ms Schofield said: “The full file is now with the CPS and Sussex Police await a CPS decision as to whether or not any criminal charges are to be brought.

“A further update will be provided at the next pre-inquest review hearing scheduled for 24 January 2018.

“I will of course keep the matter under continuous review.”

The Coroner has indicated that the full inquest is still set to be heard in September 2018.

Ms Schofield said the inquest may have to be suspended if the CPS decides to bring criminal charges.

October 2017

West Sussex Senior Coroner, Penelope Schofield, received an update from Sussex Police informing her that progress has been made in their investigation into the Shoreham air crash.

A further update will be provided by Sussex Police to the Coroner by the end of November.

Eleven men died in the air crash in August 2015.

Ms Schofield said: “In accordance with the direction given at the pre-inquest review hearing on 20 June 2017, Sussex Police provided me with an update on their ongoing investigation on 29 September 2017.

“Whilst progress is being made there is no further information to be given out at this time and a further update will be provided to me on 30 November 2017. The families of the deceased are being kept informed.”

The Coroner has indicated that the full inquest is still set to be heard in September 2018.

A third pre-inquest review will take place on Wednesday 24 January at Crawley Coroner’s Court.

Ms Schofield said the inquest may have to be suspended if the CPS decides to bring criminal charges.

June 2017

A second pre-inquest review was held on 20 June 2017 into the deaths of the 11 people who were killed when a Hawker Hunter jet crashed during a display at the Shoreham Airshow on Saturday 22 August 2015.

West Sussex Senior Coroner, Penelope Schofield, received an update on the current investigations by Sussex Police.

The police revealed their investigation is 95 per cent complete and a file was being submitted to the Crown Prosecution Service.

The Coroner set the date for a third pre-inquest review to take place on Wednesday 24 January at Crawley Coroner’s Court and indicated she would like the full inquest to be set for September 2018.

Ms Schofield said the inquest may have to be suspended if the CPS decide to bring criminal charges.

She informed families at the hearing that she was in regular contact with the police about their investigation.

She told them: "I want to assure you I am satisfied that they are moving forward as quickly as they can in quite difficult circumstances and they are hoping to bring their investigation to a conclusion as quickly as possible."

April 2017

The West Sussex Senior Coroner has taken the decision to postpone the Shoreham air crash pre-inquest review due to have taken place on Friday 17 March 2017.

The Coroner, Penelope Schofield, said she had reluctantly taken this step due to the close timing of the release of the Air Accident Investigation Branch final report, which is due in March and the fact that the police investigation is still ongoing.

A new date for the pre-inquest review will be set in due course.

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Last updated:
14 February 2022
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