Inquest to examine death of pilot who died at CarFest show at Cheshire's Oulton Park

Reporter:

Staff reporter (Chester Standard)

An inquest into the death of a pilot who died during an aerial display at a motoring event founded by TV and radio presenter Chris Evans will take place on Thursday.

Kevin Whyman, 39, was flying a Folland Gnat aircraft when it came down at the CarFest show in Oulton Park, Cheshire on August 1 2015.

At the time of the incident Evans described it as "a tragic accident".

Chester-born Mr Whyman, known as "Jester" to his friends in the Gnat Display Team, was married and had a young daughter.

A report by the Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB) released last May stated the aircraft was performing a low-level roll when its nose dropped.

As Mr Whyman was attempting to regain control he carried out an "inappropriately-timed" action which "made the situation irrecoverable", according to the AAIB.

Mr Whyman had not flown high-performance swept wing aircraft before converting onto the Gnat and had "a low average annual flying rate" of 12 hours over the past five years.

The report stated these two factors "contributed to the pilot's inability to recover".

Investigators recommended the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) should amend its policy on minimum aerobatic heights for high-performance jet aircraft to ensure they are suitable for a pilot's experience.

Mr Whyman studied economics at Peterhouse, Cambridge University, where he trained with the University Boat Club and coxed Cambridge to victory in the 1996 and 1997 boat races against Oxford.

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

He left the RAF for a trading job with a US investment bank in the City of London and completed his civilian flying licences so that he could continue his passion for flying.

The hearing at Warrington Town Hall is listed for two days.

See full story in the Chester Leader

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