SHOREHAM Airshow pilot Andy Hill will face trial for manslaughter over the 2015 plane crash which killed eleven men.

Hill, 53, will be charged with causing manslaughter by gross negligence, and also faces a lesser charge of endangering an aircraft.

In a statement, Simon Ringrose from the CPS Special Crime Division said he had found there was sufficient evidence for a prosecution and that a prosecution was in the public interest.

Gross negligence manslaughter carries a maximum penalty of life imprisonment.

He said: "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, Andrew Hill.

"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.

“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.

“Mr Hill will be formally charged with the offences and will appear before the courts in due course."

The decision was announced to the families in a private meeting at Sussex Police's Lewes headquarters moments ago.

It brings to an end a two-and-a-half year wait for clarity from the CPS, which has also delayed the beginning of an inquest into the deaths.

Hill's Hawker Hunter jet crashed into the A27 at 1.22pm on August 22, 2015, claiming the lives of the 11 men.

He was thrown clear of the fireball and survived.

In 2016 Sussex Police confirmed Hill was being investigated for possible mansalughter by gross negligence.

The case was delayed and complicated when a court ruled the police could not have direct access to evidence gathered by the Air Accident Investigation Board.

The eleven men killed in the crash were: Maurice Abrahams, 76 of Brighton; Dylan Archer, 42 of Brighton; Tony Brightwell, 53 of Hove; Matthew Grimstone, 23 of Brighton; Matt Jones, 24 of Littlehampton; Graham Mallinson, 72 of Newick; Daniele Polito, 23 of Goring; Mark Reeves, 53 of Seaford; Jacob Schilt, 23 of Brighton; Richard Smith, 26 of Hove and Mark Trussler, 54 of Worthing.