Posted: Tue 30th Aug 2022

Photo shows damage to Red Arrows’ aircrew helmet after jet smashed into bird during air display over Rhyl

News and Info from Deeside, Flintshire, North Wales
This article is old - Published: Tuesday, Aug 30th, 2022

This is the damage caused to the aircrew helmet of a Red Arrows pilot after his jet smashed into a bird shattering the cockpit canopy.

The world-famous aerobatic team were forced to cut short their display at Rhyl on Sunday a ‘few minutes early’ following the mid-air incident.

Red 6 was flown back to Hawarden Airfield with a large hole in the canopy above the pilot’s head, despite the damage, the helmet continued to provide protection from debris and wind blast.

Matt Fields, RAF Air Command Warrant Officer (Survival Equipment) posted pictures of Squadron Leader Gregor Ogston’s badly damaged head protection following the birdstrike which left the pilot a ‘bit shaken’ but otherwise uninjured.

WO Fields said: “You may have seen what happened to @rafred_6 at the weekend.”

“The skill, teamwork and expertise of the @rafredarrows was on full display.”

“Let’s not forget those that make it happen, RAF Survival Equipment Technicians provide essential kit that protect our pilot’s lives daily.”

WO Fields added: “This Aircrew Helmet provided protection from the debris and wind blast, it allowed the pilot to bring the aircraft down safely in line with well rehearsed emergency procedures.”

“The @RoyalAirForce inspires excellence and teamwork in all that it does.”

Squadron Leader Ogston has thanked emergency services at Hawarden airport for their ‘speedy response and assistance.’

Diego Breuer was at Rhyl Airshow on Sunday, he captured a sequence of images including one as the RAF Hawk T1 approached the bird. 

Another shows debris from both the canopy and the bird contouring over the aircraft as pilot Gregor Ogston took “immediate actions, delivered calmly and correctly.” His Commanding Officer David Montenegro said. 

Squadron Leader Ogston was left a ‘bit shaken’ by the incident but otherwise uninjured.

Posting on social media, the Red Arrows pilot of four years 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.”

Squadron Leader Ogston 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.”

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