The pilot who crashed his plane killing 11 men at the Shoreham Airshow will be charged with manslaughter.
Andrew Hill’s vintage 1950s plane plummeted onto the A27 in West Sussex on August 22, 2015.
The crash was the result of a failed loop-the-loop that began far too low and ended with bomber plane hitting the road and turning into a fireball.
Hill, a trained RAF instructor and fast jet pilot, was thrown clear of the aircraft but survived the crash with serious injuries.
The Crown Prosecution Service announced the news to families of the victims at a private meeting in Lewes, East Sussex.
In a statement, the CPS said: ‘Following a careful review of the evidence I have found there is sufficient evidence to charge Andrew Hill with the manslaughter by gross negligence of the 11 men who died.
‘I have also authorised a further charge against Mr Hill of endangering an aircraft, contrary to Article 137 of the Air Navigation Order 2009.’
There was no sign of Hill at his country home in Sandon, Hertfordshire, on Wednesday but he was informed of the charges.
Hill, who turns 54 on Thursday, is due to appear before Westminster Magistrates’ Court on April 19.
He will be charged with 11 counts of manslaughter by gross negligence, an offence which carries a maximum penalty of life imprisonment, and one count of endangering an aircraft, which can incur a jail term of up to five years, the CPS said.
Mr Ringrose added: ‘Sussex Police conducted a thorough and detailed investigation into the incident and in November 2017 submitted a full file of evidence to the CPS in relation to the actions of the pilot.
‘In accordance with the Code for Crown Prosecutors, I have considered whether there is sufficient evidence to charge Mr Hill with any offence and if so whether it is in the public interest to do so.’
The news comes on the same day the CPS announced it was the first national public body to sign up to the Charter for Families Bereaved through Public Tragedy, which pledges to be open with those who lose loved ones in major disasters and to treat them in a sensitive manner.
Hill was questioned for the first time by police in December 2015 under caution after voluntarily attending an interview but was not arrested.
A pre-inquest review is due to take place on Monday and the full inquest was expected to take place in September.
This will now be postponed until the criminal proceedings are concluded.