Posted on February 5, 2019
The plane is a similar specification to the 1950s fighter jet which plunged to the ground and exploded in a fireball on the A27 after Mr Hill attempted a loop on 22 August 2015. Mr Justice Andrew Edis, prosecutors, defence barristers and court staff dressed down for the day, leaving their wigs and robes at the Old Bailey, as they accompanied the 11 jurors on the site visit. Now comprising seven women and four men after a juror was discharged, the group arrived by coach and were handed visual aids as they were given a private tour of the red and white striped XL591 aircraft emblazoned with an RAF roundel.
Mr Hill, 54, of Sandon, Buntingford, Hertfordshire, did not attend the visit to the Gatwick Aviation Museum, near the airport in the village of Charlwood.
Technical experts for both the prosecution and defence – ex-Royal Navy pilot Jonathon Whaley and former RAF Red Arrows display pilot Andy Cubin – attended to explain the features of the aircraft. They walked around the plane showing jurors the wings, engine, fuel tank and other components including the flap, before explaining how it is used to give the plane lift during slower speeds, particularly during take-off and landing. Then jurors were invited one-by-one or in pairs to climb into the cockpit while both experts demonstrated the controls, what they are used for and how the plane differed from the model involved in the crash. This included showing how the controls would look in a typical flying position, how the joystick worked, how the flap was selected and controlled among other dials and gauges.