Red Arrows Display Cut Short After Bird Strike


Red Arrows birdstrike
A close up image of Red 6 after the birdstrike (Image credit: @IAmAnIanIAm)

The bird strike resulted in a canopy broken and emergency landing.

The Red Arrows were performing at Rhyl Air Show in the afternoon on Aug. 28, 2022, when the display team was forced to cut short their display after Red 6 suffered a bird strike. As a result, the canopy of the jet was smashed forcing the aircraft to declare an in-flight emergency and head back to Hawarden Airport, the air base used for the team’s Rhyl displays over the weekend.

Images and videos of the Hawk with the damaged canopy started circulating online, shortly after the jet’s successful emergency landing.

The team released a short statement on social media, highlighting how birdstrikes are far from being uncommon in aviation.

Indeed, on Aug. 26, 2021, Red 5 suffered a birdstrike and was forced to land at RAF Marham, while on Aug. 24, 2020, Red 6 was damaged by a birdstrike during a flypast over Edinburg.

Dealing with the pilot, Squadron Leader Gregor Ogston, he’s reportedly just “a bit shaken but well”:

As recently reported, the Red Arrows are facing a pilot shortage: one pilot was sacked after an alleged affair and another resigned over the team’s “toxic culture”. Members of the team, according to The Sun, are said to “hate each other” in what is considered the worst morale crisis since the Red Arrows were created in 1964.

Because of the ongoing drama, the Red Arrows are flying with a seven-ship formation, instead of the usual nine aircraft. This also means that many maneuvers for the complete formation had to be cancelled from this year flight displays.

H/T to Ian C for allowing us to use his photo of Red 6 in this article.

David Cenciotti is a journalist based in Rome, Italy. He is the Founder and Editor of “The Aviationist”, one of the world’s most famous and read military aviation blogs. Since 1996, he has written for major worldwide magazines, including Air Forces Monthly, Combat Aircraft, and many others, covering aviation, defense, war, industry, intelligence, crime and cyberwar. He has reported from the U.S., Europe, Australia and Syria, and flown several combat planes with different air forces. He is a former 2nd Lt. of the Italian Air Force, a private pilot and a graduate in Computer Engineering. He has written five books and contributed to many more ones.


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