Red Arrows pilot relives moment bird smashes through cockpit at air show

The pilot of the Red Arrow jet that had its cockpit smashed open after hitting a bird has spoken about the terrifying ordeal.

Steve Ogston was flying Red 6 in the world-famous airborne acrobatics squadron during the Rhyl Air Show when the terrifying freak incident took place.

New images have since emerged of the moment the jet smashed into the bird, with the impact forcing the plane to break from formation,NorthWalesLivereports.

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Red 6 broke off with Red 7, heading off to land safely at Hawarden Airport.

Eyewitnesses said they heard a “loud pop” as the air show reached its final stages.

Taking to Twitter, Squadron Leader Steve has since thanked people for the kind messages he received following the harrowing ordeal.

He said: "Thank you to everyone for the kind messages and good wishes. As ever, our well rehearsed emergency procedures, togetherness and training resulted in a safe outcome – true teamwork. Looking forward to displaying for you all again very soon."

The pilot added: "Particular thanks to @rafred7 for escorting me back to the airfield and to the emergency services at Hawarden airport for their speedy response and assistance."

The new images show a fractured mess of cockpit and bird bits trailing behind the speeding jet – the bird did not pull through.

David Montenegro, the Royal Air Force Aerobatic team’s commanding officer, praised Steve whose actions in the heat of the moment were "delivered calmly and correctly".

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Steve was unharmed in the incident.

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

“This type of incident is not uncommon in aviation and is extremely well-trained for. In this instance, Red 6 and the whole team responded perfectly together, with no further risk to the pilot and aircraft.

“Happy to report the jet landed safely and the pilot is unhurt. Thank you for all of the well-wishes and many messages of support, asking about the pilot.”

The jet, worth £5million, is expected to undergo intensive repair work.

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