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Hero pilot praised for evacuating BA plane during Las Vegas fire

Pilot Chris Henkey has been hailed a hero Photo: INS

The hero pilot of the plane which burst into flames on the runway in Las Vegas has been named as Chris Henkey.

Captain Henkey, who has flown for British Airways airline for the past 42 years, lives in Burghfield in Berkshire.

His long term partner, Lenka Nevolna, spoke out about her relief about the aborted flight and said she was very proud of his quick actions.

"I'm still in shock about it all but I am very proud of him," she said.

"I am so pleased he is alright and just glad that they hadn't gone into the air."

The plane catches fire in Las Vegas Credit: EricmHays\Twitter

Close friend Rodger Beale said: "He's a very sociable guy and we have known him since we all first moved into the street.

"He was due to retire after this flight to Las Vegas and had just one more which would fly to Barbados.

"He had arranged for his partner Lenka to meet him out there in Barbados.

"He has never ever had any incidents in his whole career.

"Just recently we were talking about his many years as a pilot and he had said nothing had ever happened to him.

"He had enjoyed 42 years a a pilot and always worked for BA.

Mr Henkey's daughter from a previous marriage, Charley, aged 26 years, said "how proud" she was of her father.

She said she was "extremely emotional" after receiving a text from her father telling her there had been a "massive explosion."

She said: "I was just heading out to dinner with my best friend when I got a text from Dad saying there had been a massive explosion on the plane but that he was okay.

"I couldn't sleep all night, because I was just waiting to get a call from him.

"I think the most emotional part is that I am just so proud of him."

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