The CAA has announced that it had withdrawn the safety directive that had grounded all Hunter Aircraft on the UK register since August 2015

‘It was perhaps understandable at the time, in the immediate aftermath of the tragedy, to temporarily ground similar aircraft in case an issue had stemmed from the type’s airworthiness,’ writes LAA CEO and contributor Steve Slater in a column due to be published in the September edition of Pilot. ‘That immediate blanket grounding of the fleet then took nearly two years to be rescinded; largely one suspects, for political reasons. Meanwhile, even the AAIB’s forensic analysis of the aircraft type, design and operation, threw up little more than some minor technicalities which had no bearing on the accident.

‘Now at least, the mighty Hunter, regarded as many as the most iconic and beautiful post-war jet fighter of them all, can fly again. In theory at least… It may be the damage has already been done. The lengthy (and frankly unnecessary) grounding has forced some owners to come to the conclusion that their aircraft are just not viable any more.’

To read Steve’s ‘Open Cockpit’ in full, see the September edition of Pilot magazine, on sale from 9 August

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