Leading lawyer who represents victims and their families in rail crashes and plane disasters comments on restrictions put in place by the CAA following Saturday’s Shoreham air crash.
“It is good that the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) has moved so quickly to restrict the activities of vintage planes displaying at air shows, following Saturday’s shocking crash. I think this will to some extent reassure the public for the immediate future,” comments Des Collins, a leading transport lawyer and Senior Partner of Collins Solicitors, following the CAA’s announcement yesterday.
Des Collins continued: “However, this is just an interim measure, and it is clear that a full review of air show displays is needed, not just because of the terrible events on Saturday on the A27 in Shoreham, but because of the steadily increasing number of accidents. It is the sixth disaster at an air show in the past seven years and there is clearly a link with the increased number of planes flying – old and new – at air shows.
A full, robust review of the rules relating to the location and content of air shows, with particular emphasis on where the public is in relation to these flights, whether in the crowd attending the event, in their houses close to the venue or just driving by on local roads, is essential. It isn’t practicable to suggest that all air shows must take place over the sea, but a balance needs to be struck between the joy of seeing veteran planes taking to the skies and the safety of the public.”
In 2007, Des Collins represented the widow of a trainee pilot following an accident in which both he and his instructor lost control on landing a jet at Duxford airfield. The trainee pilot lost his life in a failed ejection manoeuvre. The plane went on to cross the M11 on a Sunday morning, ending up on the central reservation but fortunately without any further fatalities. Des Collins adds: “The case had implications both for recreational and show flights; but it didn’t fire the public’s interest and press scrutiny in the same way that the events at Shoreham and Carfest sadly have in August 2015.”
Des Collins is available for further commentary in relation to these and related issues and can be contacted either on 01923 223 324 (office) or 07831 522 540 (mobile) or by emailing him firstname.lastname@example.org