Bird collides with Red Arrows jet, shattering canopy during air show performance

PICTURED: The moment a bird collided with a Red Arrows jet and DESTROYED its canopy during an air show

  • The impact marked an abrupt end to the RAF’s Rhyl Air Show on Sunday
  • Witnesses reported hearing a “loud bang” before the pilot had to break away
  • Hundreds of people watched as the group wrapped up the show

This is the moment a bird collided with a Red Arrows jet during an air show, shattering its canopy.

The collision marked an abrupt end to the performance of the world-renowned RAF aerobatic team at Sunday’s Rhyl Air Show.

Witnesses heard a “loud pop” before Red 6 pilot Steve Ogston was forced to break away from his formation, escorted by Red 7 to ensure a safe landing back at Hawarden Airport.

Hundreds of people watched as the group brought Rhyl Air Show 2022 over.

Mr Ogston, who was unhurt, praised commanding officer David Montenegro and said his immediate actions were “calmly and correctly executed” to ensure the safety of the rest of the team.

Debris poured from the cockpit (pictured) after a bird collided with a Red Arrows jet during the Rhyl Air Show. It brought the exhibition to an abrupt end

Debris poured from the cockpit (pictured) after a bird collided with a Red Arrows jet during the Rhyl Air Show. It brought the exhibition to an abrupt end

Damaged RAF Red Arrow jet is seen after being hit by a bird at the Rhyl Air Show in Flintshire, Wales, UK on August 28th

Damaged RAF Red Arrow jet is seen after being hit by a bird at the Rhyl Air Show in Flintshire, Wales, UK on August 28th

The commander also praised the pilot with great praise and said: “His immediate, calm and correct actions with the support of his colleagues ensured a safe exit.”

Mr Ogston was said to be “a bit shaken” after the bird smashed his window and exposed him to the elements.

Images shared with North Wales Live show debris from both the canopy and feathers of the bird, which died in the collision.

The red Hawk T1 jet managed to fly safely back to Hawarden airfield at Airbus Broughton where they were based for their two day display at the Rhyl Airshow over the weekend.

A spokesman for the RAF Red Arrows team said: “Thank you to everyone at the Rhyl Airshow this weekend. We had to exit the Red Arrows display a few minutes early after one of our jets suffered a bird strike that damaged the canopy.

“This type of incident is not uncommon in aviation and you are well trained for it. In this case, Red 6 and the entire team reacted perfectly together, with no further risk for the pilot and the plane.

Gregor Ogston landed safely and was said to be

Pilot Gregor Ogston had to break away from the rest of the formation when his plane was struck by the bird

Gregor Ogston landed safely and was said to be “shaken” but unharmed

“I am pleased to report that the jet landed safely and the pilot was unharmed. Thank you for all the congratulations and many messages of support that have been asked after the pilot.’

The bird struck the section of the £5million jet’s glass cockpit just inches from the pilot.

A witness said: “This pilot is lucky to be alive. Anything could have happened in that moment – ​​really Top Gun.”

The seven red Hawk T1 jets departed Hawarden at 4:30pm on Sunday for their second appearance of the weekend at the Rhyl Airshow.

The team was due to arrive back at Hawarden at 5.10pm but just after 4.45pm Red 6 yelled the emergency transponder code 7700.

This prompted a response from the local fire brigade at Hawarden Airport, who were on hand when the jet landed.

Red 6 was escorted to the airport by another member of the team to ensure a safe route home and landing.

The other pilots were welcomed like heroes at Hawarden and rewarded with applause from bystanders as they disembarked.

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Emma Colton

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