Pilot Andy Hills
Shoreham airshow crash pilot Andy Hill has been described as 'the best of the best' by fellow pilots /www.air-shows.org​

The pilot in the Shoreham Airshow crash is to be questioned by detectives and investigators from the Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB) "as soon as possible". Andy Hill, 51, was flying the Hawker Hunter during the show in West Sussex on 22 August before the plane crashed into the A27, leaving 11 people dead.

He was pulled from the burning wreckage and was left in a critical condition after the 1950s plane crashed in West Sussex. The former RAF pilot from Sandon, near Buntingford in Hertfordshire, was placed in a medically-induced coma at the Royal Sussex County Hospital in Brighton after the crash, and was later moved to a specialist hospital.

Police and investigators from the Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB), who are conducting parallel investigations, are looking to interview the pilot as soon as possible.
- Sussex Police spokesperson

A Sussex Police spokesman said Mr Hill's condition was "improving", but reports that he has been discharged from hospital are unconfirmed. An initial AAIB report said Mr Hill was thrown clear of the aircraft during the later part of the crash. It said it was not clear whether he initiated his ejection. "Police and investigators from the Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB), who are conducting parallel investigations, are looking to interview the pilot as soon as possible," said the spokesman. "We are not permitted to disclose his location as this is a private matter for which we do not have the family's permission."

An investigation is under way to determine if the crash was caused by human error or as a result of a technical problem. A preliminary report from the AAIB said there were "no abnormal indications" during the flight and that cockpit cameras showed the plane "appeared to be responding to the pilot's control inputs".

The seven-page report said there had been an inspection of the plane the day before the 22 August show and that Mr Hill had carried out his own pre-flight inspection on the day. There were no defects reported from either inspection. Eyewitnesses said the plane may have been attempting a somersault manoeuvre before it came down. A video of the crash has been published online showing the aircraft bursting into flames.

The wreckage of the jet is being examined in Farnborough, Hampshire. Investigators from the AAIB are reviewing a mass of information from witnesses who attended the show, and passerby, including video recordings and photographs.

The Royal Air Forces Association (Rafa), which organises the Shoreham Airshow in West Sussex, defended its safety record. It assured its safety standards at air displays in Britain "are among the very highest in the world".

Those who died in the crash include wedding chauffeur Maurice Abrahams 76, from Brighton; Worthing United footballers Matthew Grimstone and Jacob Schilt, both 23; NHS manager Tony Brightwell, 53, from Hove; and Daniele Polito, 23, from Worthing.

Hill, an experienced British Airways pilot who was described as the "best of the best", managed to survive the crash and is currently in a serious condition in hospital. His family issued a statement saying they are "devastated" at the loss of live that occurred.

Memorials were held a week after the tragedy in honour of the victims. A minutes' silence was observed on a bridge over the Rover Adur at 1.20pm. An inquest into the deaths was opened and adjourned last week. A pre-inquest review is to take place on 22 March.