Thu, 10 Sept 2015
THE West Berkshire pilot of a British Airways flight that burst into flames has told the media that he "is finished flying."
Chris Henkey, from Padworth, was captaining the Boeing 777 from Las Vegas' McCarren Airport to Gatwick when the fire broke out.
His more than 40 years of experience and "textbook" reaction saw the 172 passengers safely evacuated. Mr Henkey's calm and heroic actions have been praised by passengers and aviation experts.
The flight was meant to be Mr Henkey's penultimate flight before his retirement. His last flight would have seen him meet his daughter Charley in Barbados.
Speaking to NBC Mr Henkey said: “I was supposed to go to Barbados on Saturday and come back next Tuesday and that would be it.
“It’s safe to say I’m finished flying.”
Mr Henkey used to run the Hatch Gate Inn, Burghfield, with his ex-wife Marnie.
He currently lives in Padworth with his fiancee Lenka. He also raises money for Wooden Spoon, a charity which helps disabled and disadvantaged children and young people through playing rugby.
Mr Henkey's neighbour, Jackie Wood, told NewburyToday: "He's a lovely guy, really friendly and we are very proud of him."