Great Canfield owners of jet that crashed during Shoreham air show settle claims brought by families

Hawker Hunter plane at RAF Henlow

Hawker Hunter plane at RAF Henlow - Credit: Archant

The Great Canfield owners of the vintage jet that crashed during last year’s Shoreham air show have settled some of the compensation claims being brought by the victims’ families.

The Hawker Hunter jet, owned by Canfield Hunter Ltd, crashed on to the A27 in West Sussex during the air show on August 22 last year, killing 11 men.

James Healey-Pratt, of Stewarts Law, who represent the majority of the victims’ families in the disaster, says compensation packages for one third of the group served by the firm have now been successfully resolved.

The final Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB) report has not yet been published but is expected next month.

Sussex Police is awaiting a decision from the High Court over access to key evidence held by the AAIB, which the force says is important for its criminal investigation into the incident.

Pilot of the aircraft, Andy Hill, 52, has been questioned under caution but not arrested.

Mr Healey-Pratt said: “The families await the final AAIB report in September that will give some answers as to what happened.

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“The families have been courageously patient while these various legal processes take their course, as the families want the truth but also think that no corners should be cut in getting to the truth.

“While no money will ever bring any of the loved ones back, we did obtain an admission of legal responsibility from the owner of the jet and their aviation insurers in late 2015.

“That paved the way for successful negotiations for compensation, without the added trauma of a High Court trial on civil liability.

“We have successfully negotiated compensation packages for one third of our group of families that we represent, and are in advanced negotiations for the remainder of our family clients. Those negotiations are confidential.”

Events were held to mark the first anniversary of the crash today (Aug 22), including a minute’s silence on the Shoreham toll bridge at 1.22pm, the time of the disaster.

Thousands of tributes were laid and a church service is being held on Saturday.

The Broadcast was not able to contact Canfield Hunter Ltd, but in a statement made to the BBC the company said: “We remain committed to doing everything we can to assist those affected by this tragic incident.

“We continue to be in contact with the authorities and are co-operating fully with the various ongoing investigations.”