A BIG-HEARTED pilot lifted spirits in Worcestershire by creating a smiley face in the skies using his plane's vapour trail.

Captain Richard Goodwin helped banish the lockdown blues after a torrid year for many by creating the giant smiley face in blue skies over Worcestershire on Easter Sunday using a plane he built himself.

The 58-year-old former RAF Tornado pilot, who is passionate about modifying, building and displaying biplanes, could not resist the chance to climb in the cockpit on a beautiful day to bring a smile to our faces.

The father-of-five flew at 10,000 feet over Worcester and Malvern in his aerobatic biplane (a Pitts S2S) to create the beaming face which had a 1,800 metre diameter and was visible from across the county including in Worcester, Malvern, Droitwich, Holt Heath and Powick.

The furloughed TUI captain, who is eager to fly people on their holidays as soon as restrictions are lifted, said: "I was trying to cheer people up a bit really. We are so close to the end now."

Mr Goodwin also regularly assists a charity called Fly2Help which gives people the chance to enjoy aviation experiences. His mission to lift spirits clearly worked. The pilot, sponsored by Anana, Retweeted a number of messages and photos featuring photos of the smiley face. One Tweet read: "Happy Easter to you too!"

Another observer, who tagged Mr Goodwin, wrote: "An Easter smiley, much appreciated over Worcestershire!"

We reported last May how the airman created a smiley face and a heart in the sky on Bank Holiday Monday after the restrictions were lifted on recreational flying a week before.

Worcester News readers reacted positively to the gesture and were clearly touched by it, sharing their own photos of the smiley.

Sam Allen, who took a photo in Dines Green, wrote: "My boy loved it."