EAST Lancashire is on one of the busiest flight paths in the country.

Hundreds of aircraft from passenger jets to single engine planes criss-cross our skies every day heading in and out of Manchester Airport.

Military planes also fly out of BAE Systems sites at Samlesbury and Warton on training exercises before they are used in real combat missions.

Pilots face dangers every time they take to the skies.

One of the most unpredictable threats is the risk from a bird strike as it could happen at any time during the flight.

Footage of jet engines catching fire after take-off is shocking to see and must be even more terrifying for those on board.

BAE now wants to kill thousands of seabirds to protect its pilots on manoeuvres.

It wants to reduce the number of black-backed gulls and herring gulls in the Ribble Estuary where test flights take place.

However, the RSPB has asked the High Court to intervene to stop the cull.

The animal charity is right to want to halt the decline of the seabirds but, equally, BAE Systems should be allowed to safeguard its pilots.

The two parties need to come together for a fresh outlook to resolve the situation.