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'I'm no hero' - BA pilot who saved 169 passengers talks exclusively to ITV News Meridian

A pilot who saved the lives of 170 people when his plane burst into flames on the runway, has told ITV Meridian he 'just did what he had to do.'

Chris Henkey managed to bring the Boeing passenger jet to a halt in seconds when the engine exploded during take-off on a flight from Las Vegas to Gatwick.

In his first television interview, the pilot, who was on his second-last flight before retiring, told our reporter Mel Bloor, that he wasn't expecting his career to end in such high drama:

'Nothing can prepare you' BA pilot who saved 169 passengers speaks exclusively to ITV News Meridian

BA pilot saved 169 passengers on board when engine fire broke out Credit: ITV Meridian

BA pilot, Chris Henkey has spoken to ITV Meridian about the moment an engine fire broke out on his plane during take off.

169 passengers were on board the Boeing 777 at Las Vegas bound for Gatwick Airport last week.

Chris told Meridian he is "embarrassed" about being called a hero and praised the actions of the two other pilots and ten cabin crew. 14 passengers suffered minor injuries.

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Boost for next generation of pilots

Farnborough Airport is helping local youngsters follow in the footsteps of Britain's first aviator, Samuel Cody, who first flew from the airport more than a hundred years ago. They're awarding scholarships that train teenagers how to become pilots.

For many the cost - tens of thousands of pounds - would be unaffordable without the help from such scheme. It's also keeping up a tradition of local people learning to fly at the airport, as our Transport Correspondent Mike Pearse reports.

Pilot's family will "fight for justice"

The family of a pilot who died during a mid air collision say his death was preventable. Alan Weal was killed when his light aircraft crashed with another plane over Sussex in July last year.

The coroner at the inquest recorded a verdict of accidental death - but Mr Weal's wife and daughters have vowed to fight for justice for him. Charlotte Wilkins has the story.

A spokesperson from Flying Time Aviation gave their reaction to the inquest:

"It is always a tragedy when a fellow pilot loses his life. Our thoughts are with his family. The instructor pilots operating our aircraft demonstrated how important it is to follow the standard procedures.

They displayed professionalism and exceptional piloting skills after safely landing the severely disabled aircraft without any further loss of life. "

Pilot's family will "continue to fight for justice"

Alan Weal was a former British Airways pilot

The family of an experienced pilot who died in a mid-air collision has vowed to continue to fight for justice after an inquest recorded a verdict of accidental death.

Alan Weal, a former BA pilot, died in a mid-air collision between two light aircraft over Sussex last July

The 62 year old died from head and chest injuries after the home-built plane he was test flying for a friend following its modification plunged into a recreation ground.

Ex-BA captain Mr Weal and flying instructor Robert Rickwood and his student, qualified pilot Barnaby Kerr, who were both in a four-seater aircraft, did not see each other before the collision at 1,100ft, the three-day inquest heard

The family of Mr Weal, from Goring, near Worthing, believe he died "a hero" by steering his stricken plane, a Vans RV-6A, away from houses and children playing in the recreation ground.

Following the accidental verdict, lawyers for Mr Weal's family vowed to consider taking legal action amid claims from his relatives that his death was "preventable".

Mr Weal's widow, Penny, 62, said: "We are disappointed with the verdict but will continue to fight for justice in the hope Alan's death was not in vain."

Keith Barrett, of Irwin Mitchell Solicitors, which represented Mr Weal's family, said: "This is a tragic case that has seen a family lose a loving husband, father and grandfather. We're disappointed with the verdict but will continue in our legal fight for justice on behalf of the Weal family."

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Death of pilot in mid-air collision "accidental"

A mid-air crash between two light aircraft which killed a retired British

Airways pilot was an accident, an inquest jury ruled.

Alan Weal, 62, died from head and chest injuries after the home-built plane he

was test flying plunged into a recreation ground.

Ex-BA captain Mr Weal and flying instructor Robert Rickwood and his student,

qualified pilot Barnaby Kerr, who were both in a four-seater aircraft, did not

see each other before the collision at 1,100ft over Sussex, the three-day

inquest in Horsham heard.

Mr Rickwood and Mr Kerr managed to bring the aircraft under control and land it

safely on a grass runway at Shoreham Airport near Brighton on a clear day on

July 4 last year.

The inquest heard there was no evidence that either pilot attempted to avoid the other, and no radar system at

Shoreham.

Brush strokes in Bournemouth

Flight Lieutenant Jon Egging Credit: ITV Meridian

A large-scale mural of Flight Lieutenant Jon Egging, who lost his life while completing a display at the Air Festival last year, will be on display at the Bournemouth International Centre during the Air Festival. A video of local artist Soap creating the mural is also being shown.

The 20ft wide image shows the Red Arrows in flight alongside a picture of Flight Lieutenant Jon Egging.

Red Arrows prepare for return to Bournemouth Airshow

The Red Arrows prepare for their display Credit: Press Association

The Red Arrows are getting ready for their display at the Bournemouth Air Festival this morning.

It's a year since one of their colleagues died in a crash after a display at the show.

Flight Lieutenant Jon Egging's aircraft crashed near to the town's airport.

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