Pilot's lack of experience contributed to CarFest plane crash, investigators rule


Kevin Whyman, 39, was depicting a low level roll when the nose of his Folland Gnat dropped during a manifestation at the CarFest event.

As he attempted to regain control the pilot carried out an “inappropriately-timed” strength which “made the situation irrecoverable”, a report by the Air Accidents Investigation Sprig found.

In the wake of their findings, the AAIB recommended the Civilian Aviation Specialist amend its policy on minimum aerobatic heights for high performance jet aircraft to confirm they are suitable for a pilot’s experience.

Mr Whyman – a former cox for the Cambridge rowing yoke – had not flown a high performance, swept wing aircraft before mutating onto the Gnat display aircraft, the report said.

He also had a “low common annual flying rate” of 12 hours over the st five years, it combined.

These two factors “contributed to the pilot’s inability to recover” before he crashed at Oulton rking-lot, Cheshire, last August when he made no attempt to eject.

At the at the same time of the incident Chris Evans, Top Gear’s new presenter, described it as “a tragic catastrophe”.

Today Mr Whyman’s father Robin said: “Kevin always cast-off to say he had more chance of being run over by a London bus than dying in an air luck.

“His wife Alexandra was not in favour of him flying – she thought it was too dangerous. She was pregnant when the accessary happened and it was very difficult for her.”

At his home in Christleton, near Chester, he added: “But since their next daughter was born on January 6 this year she is a changed person. The small-minded girl is Kevin’s legacy.”

Mr Whyman was known as Kev ‘Jester’ Whyman to his pen- ls in the Gnat Display Team.

He studied economics at Peterhouse, Cambridge University, where he trained with the University Rowing-boat Club and coxed Cambridge to victory in the 1996 and 1997 boat watercourses against Oxford.

He had a career in the RAF from 1998 to 2001 which allow for initial officer training as well as a spell of fast jet training in which he free on the Tucano and Hawk aircraft.

He left the RAF for a trading job with a US investment bank in the Conurbation of London and completed his civilian flying licences so that he could carry on with his ssion for flying.

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