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BA Pilot, a hero!


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A pilot who safely crash-landed a passenger plane at Heathrow Airport has been hailed a hero.

Captain Peter Burkill, 43, was at the controls of the BA Boeing 777 when it came down short of the runway.

No one was seriously hurt in the incident but 18 passengers were treated for minor injuries.

Prime Minister Gordon Brown was at the airport at the time waiting to fly to China on a trade mission. He has praised the pilot and the flight crew for their actions.

On arriving in Beijing he said: 'I think it's right to pay tribute to the calmness and professionalism of the British Airways staff and the captain and what he achieved in landing the aircraft.'

'The speed of the evacuation we saw at first-hand, and the total professionalism and dedication of the staff.'

He added: 'It's at times like these you remember you are in the hands of staff who do a remarkable job.

'When we arrived at the airport, we knew there was an incident taking place and at the same time we saw the evacuation taking place very quickly indeed.

'I'm very pleased to hear people are safe.'

The Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB) is now investigating the incident amid speculation about engine failure.

One airport worker said Captain Burkill had told him the plane lost all power as he came in to land.

He said: 'He just glided it in and lifted the nose up and managed to get it down. He lost power very close to coming in to land. He said he had no warning - it just went.

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'It's a miracle. The man deserves a medal as big as a frying pan. He has done a fantastic job.'

British Airways refused to speculate about what could have been behind the accident or on later reports that both engines had failed, saying it was a matter for the AAIB.

Chief inspector of Air Accidents David King has warned it could take some time to discover the cause.

He said: 'At present, my staff are involved in preliminary inquiries to establish the known facts of the accident.

'I will release an initial report within 48 hours of the accident, which will provide the known circumstances.'

SW :D

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He said: 'He just glided it in and lifted the nose up and managed to get it down. He lost power very close to coming in to land. He said he had no warning - it just went.

Thats the way we do it, I reckon he needs to practice his spot landings though.

It sounds like he has a good 'flare' but yes Dan, I think he should try to land on his Airplane bag, (which is what I like to do with my Wing bag)

SW :D

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Didn't you know? The secret is to close your eyes at a hundred feet and pull hard when you hear the guy next to you gasp. Bit of a tough trick in a paramotor.

The boys did a great job. Having the co-pilot fly the aircraft when the going gets tough is pretty standard, it was his sector (him P1) anyway. This gives the captain the maximum capacity to deal with the problem and manage the scenario.

A very neat bit of flying though. Praise be to the gods of fate and fortune....

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A superb end result. We are blessed in this country with a standard of commercial training and operation that is equalled by some but bettered by no-one. I just hope this is remembered in the next round of pay talks (cabin crew too)!

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Ian,

Good luck with the pay talks Ian, he doesn't seem to be moving at the moment though.

A few years ago in a bar in Narita, Branson bought a round of drinks for his crew. Looking across to the BA crew nearby he called out to a BA cabin crew member, "Ere, I bet you don't see Robert Ayling buying drinks for his crews, do ya!"

Quick as a flash the BA Purser called back, "Naa, Richard, he pays us enough to buy our own!"

Such is banter ~ there is barely a space between us really (he says leaving Ian an opening for a Grand Riposte).

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I don't mess with them - they will have you out of the door as quick as a flash. Good job really.... isn't it?

On a good day, some of the finest people on earth; I should know, I married two of em! (not in the photo)

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I had meant your BALPA comittee should be using this for leverage in your next pay negotiations!

I have a sure-fire plan to double my pension... I intend to retire married to my first wife!

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