Injured racing pigeon's flight of fancy lands it in pilot's garden

A PILOT had to cope with the aftermath of a crash landing with a difference in his West Yorkshire garden.

Captain Mike Smith's children discovered an injured racing pigeon at the bottom of their garden in Ilkley. The family nursed him back to health and gave him the nickname Biggles.

Now Capt Smith and the airline he works for,, have flown the pigeon back home to Edinburgh from Leeds Bradford Airport.

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The pedigree bird, aged two, owned by Steve Girdwood, from Edinburgh, was on its way to his Scottish owner after being released in Newark, Nottinghamshire on May 22.

Mr Girdwood believes his pigeon was brought down by hail and thunder.

Capt Smith said: "My children Cameron and Ashleigh found the bird at the bottom of our garden. He was looking a little sorry for himself and had clearly injured one of his wings, so my wife whose father is a game-keeper nursed him back to health – and in the meantime the kids nicknamed him Biggles." He found Mr Girdwood's contact details around the bird's leg.

Mr Girdwood said: "When he didn't return home after a few days, I thought something must be badly wrong but the wee fella did well to choose a pilot's garden to land in."