A PILOT has told a court there may have been gaps in his training on the plane which crashed at the Shoreham Airshow, killing 11 men.

Andy Hill continued to be cross-examined in his trial at the Old Bailey on Friday, where he has been speaking in public for the first time about the crash.

Prosecutor Tom Kark QC questioned Hill on the specifics of how to fly the 1950s Hawker Hunter fighter jet, which plunged to the ground and exploded in a fireball on the A27 in West Sussex after he attempted a loop during a display on August 22, 2015.

The 54-year-old, of Sandon, Buntingford, Hertfordshire, denies 11 counts of manslaughter by gross negligence.

Part of the permit for flying the aircraft does not allow take-off if the jet pipe temperature is too low.

The court heard it was an “important” factor because if the temperature is not high enough, the plane could struggle to reach full power.

Hill suggested in court he was not aware of this when flying a Hunter and had not been taught this.

Mr Kark told jurors that information was mentioned in a set of flying notes found in Hill’s pocket after the crash.

Known as flight reference cards, they are a guide to correctly and safely operating different models of aircraft.

Hill told the court this was not raised in his training on the aircraft with fellow pilot Chris Heames, who he said was much more experienced in flying the Hunter.

Mr Kark asked: “Are you blaming Mr Heames for not training you properly?”

Hill replied: “I don’t know,” later adding: “For whatever reason I had not picked it up.”

Mr Kark said: “This is actually quite basic stuff.”

He suggested to Hill: “When you took off in this plane you had not read these notes properly.”

Hill reiterated he had “not read or understood” that part of the notes and agreed they had been on his person that day.

He was also asked if his stature made it difficult to reach some of the controls in the plane, particularly the flap lever which controls the amount of lift to give

a plane during slower speeds including take-off and landing.

Throughout his evidence, Hill has referred to a large map, situated behind him in the witness box, of the crash site and surrounding area.

At one point he told the court he was struggling to point to the top of the map because he was not tall enough, before climbing up a step in order to do so.

Mr Kark asked: “Is it a struggle to get to these instruments (in the plane)?”

Hill said: “I definitely had to lean forward to reach the under carriage and the flaps.”

Asked if he had difficulty in other types of aircraft, the former British Airways pilot said reaching some of the controls in a particular Airbus model would

involve being “almost bent over”.

He continued to dismiss accusations from the prosecution that he breached rules at other airshows the year before the crash.

This included claims he flew over Lancing College, which sits next to the A27, during the Shoreham Airshow in 2014, despite this being banned.

The court was shown footage of the display from the cockpit which was paused as the college chapel and surrounding buildings come into view through the front window of the aircraft.

Asked by Mr Kark if he accepted the video gave the impression he was about to fly right over the college, Hill replied: “No.”

He said he was “comfortably clear” of the college and previously said from his recollection he had been “nowhere near it”.

The trial continues today.

Meanwhile, a pre-inquest review into the 11 deaths following the Shoreham air crash due to take place on February 22 has been postponed until April 8.

The nature of the charges currently being heard at the Old Bailey against pilot Andy Hill mean the full inquest must wait until the conclusion of the criminal case.

The West Sussex Coroner has said she will continue to keep the matter under review to ensure that the inquests take place as soon as is reasonably possible.

The 11 who died in the air crash were:

Maurice Rex Abrahams, 76 of Brighton

Dylan Archer, 42 of Brighton

Anthony David Brightwell, 53 of Hove

Matthew Grimstone, 23 of Brighton

Matthew Wesley Jones, 24 of Littlehampton

James Graham Mallinson, 72 of Newick

Daniele Gaetano Polito, 23 of Goring by Sea

Mark Alexander Reeves, 53 of Seaford

Jacob Henry Schilt, 23 of Brighton

Richard Jonathan Smith, 26 of Hove.

Mark James Trussler, 54 of Worthing.