A helicopter plunged 800ft after a seagull crashed through the window and into the cockpit.
Captain Phil Robertson works for Flight Academy, and was training Howard Stott, from Burnley, when the incident occurred on 13 June.
During what they described as a “bad day at the office”, the bird flew straight through the window as the pair was flying over Bolton, knocking the controls out of the pilot’s hands.
Captain Robertson said the helicopter was around 1500ft in the air when the collision happened.
“I thought somebody was coming through the front windscreen with a sledgehammer,” Mr Stott told the BBC. “There were feathers flying, glass and everything… just shock.”
The seagull was unfortunately killed on impact, but Mr Stott has plans to immortalise its memory: “It’s in my freezer, we’re going to have it stuffed and make a party piece of it in the new flight academy we’re opening shortly,” he said.
The incident caused the helicopter to plunge to just 700ft in the air, prompting the captain to make an emergency mayday call.
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