LETTER: Airshow coverage

I HAVE just read the pull-out section on the Shoreham Air Show in this week’s Observer.

I would like to thank you most sincerely for the stance you have taken.

I especially want to thank you personally for your editorial. I felt it was well-judged and sensitively expressed. It demonstrated, if I may say so, a degree of calm maturity and wisdom that has been absent from rather too much of the national media.

I am especially mindful of the extent to which you have avoided speculation and opinion.

While I, as a pilot for several decades, am quite clear on what I saw, I do not know why it happened and it is clear that as yet no-one else does.

I am familiar with the work of the AAIB and am fully confident that they will establish the entire cause-and-effect chain.

This is a necessary prerequisite to taking effective and proportionate preventative actions.

It is appropriate now to be patient and to wait for their report.

I am very sorry that some others find patience such an unattainable state. Thank you for not adding to their numbers.

In the meantime, the prompt response from the CAA in grounding Hunters and banning high-energy manoeuvres by vintage jets until further notice is, in my view, fully appropriate.

Finally, the airshow was, just as you reported, a glorious family day in perfect weather until the crash took place.

By reporting, as it were, both sides of the story, you have reflected accurately what I and my family experienced. I suspect that this may be true of many other people.

No other media organisation took this approach, either at all or to a meaningful extent.

In my opinion it is to your great credit that you had the courage and judgement to do it your way.

D John Akerman

Clayton Road,