A pilot hailed a hero over the crash-landing of a British Airways aircraft at Heathrow is leaving the airline after applying for voluntary redundancy.
Captain Peter Burkill, 45, from Worcester, was praised after the Boeing 777, with 151 people on board, was brought down safely after it lost power two miles from the runway after a flight from Beijing in January last year.
He has worked at BA for 20 years and is one of 78 pilots taking voluntary severance under plans by the airline to cut costs.
BA have denied reports that he had been the victim of a smear campaign and was leaving because he was angry and disillusioned over rumours about his role in the emergency landing. “Captain Burkill is a highly valued member of staff and he will continue to receive the full support of BA,” said a spokesman. Jim McAuslan, general secretary of the British Airline Pilots’ Association (Balpa), said Capt Burkill and the rest of the crew did an “amazing job”.
“Balpa has supported them throughout, as we do with all pilots involved in incidents,” he said. “Balpa has nominated Peter for awards. He has made a life decision to leave BA.”