14th June 2010
The 2 year old Willy Thas pedigree bird which is owned by pigeon fancier, Steve Girdwood from Sighthill in Edinburgh, was flying back to his Scottish owner after being released with 1000 birds in Newark, Nottinghamshire on May 22nd.
Steve believes the aptly-named Biggles was brought down by hail and thunder en route back to Scotland, causing him to crash land in Jet2.com pilot Captain Mike Smiths garden in Ilkley, West Yorkshire.
Captain Smith pictured below with Biggles commented: 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! I managed to get in touch with Steve after finding his contact details around the birds leg and he was overjoyed to hear from us. Im so pleased that I was able to help Biggles finish his journey hes a chirpy little chap and Im sure he wants to get home to his roost!
Owner Steve Girdwood said: I was overjoyed to hear from Captain Smith the pigeon is one of my fastest birds and was 5th out of 1000 racers on his last competitive outing. When he didnt return home after a few days, I thought something must be badly wrong but the wee fella did well to choose a pilots garden to land in! He didnt have a name until now, but I think Biggles fits him pretty well hes certainly had an adventure that he wont forget for some time...
Meanwhile Philip Meeson, boss of Jet2.com added: Im so pleased that Biggles was able to take full advantage of Jet2.coms fantastic customer service and friendly low fares at the hand of Captain Smith! Weve carried lions and members of the Royal Family before, but this is certainly the first VIP pigeon!
Biggles was reunited with his owner after being flown by Captain Smith from Leeds-Bradford airport to Edinburgh today on board a Jet2.com aircraft.