August 31, 2022 11.13 am This story is over 22 months old

Pictures show damage to Red Arrows pilot’s helmet after ‘bird strike’

It must have been terrifying

By Local Democracy Reporter

The moment a bird shattered the glass cockpit of a Red Arrows aircraft mid-display could have been much worse, if not for the sturdiness of the pilot’s helmet.

The incident happened during a Red Arrows display at the Rhyl Air Show on Sunday, August 28, as Red 6, piloted by Gregor Ogston, suffered significant damage following a collision with what is believed to be a bird.

The impact caused the glass cockpit to smash and leave the pilot exposed to the elements, and new pictures of Ogston’s helmet show just how terrifying a moment it must have been for the pilot.

Praise has been reserved for the technicians who provide helmets like this one to RAF pilots. | Photo: UK MOD Crown Copyright 2022

Visible scrapes and cracks can be seen in the aircrew helmet’s exterior, mere millimetres away from Gregor Ogston’s face and surely preventing a very serious injury.

Warrant Officer Matt Fields said that praise had to be given to the RAF’s Survival Equipment Technicians for providing “essential kit” that protected the pilot from disaster.

The Red Arrows had to dramatically end their Rhyl Air Show display early after a “bird strike” damaged the glass cockpit of Red 6. | Photo: @welshiedale2022 via Twitter

He said: “You may have seen what happened to Red 6 at the weekend. The skill, teamwork and expertise of the Red Arrows 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.

“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 Royal Air Force inspires excellence and teamwork in all that it does.”

| Photo: @welshiedale2022 via Twitter

Gregor Ogston took to social media to thank everybody for their messages of support following the incident, where he again praised the commitment and organisation of his fellow Red Arrows pilots and the team as a whole.