CAPTAIN Peter Burkill, the hero pilot who helped successfully crash-land a passenger jet after its engines failed while coming in to land, has been honoured with a medal.

Mr Burkill received the British Airways Safety Medal along with 15 other members of flight and cabin crew who were on-board the aircraft that day, at a special ceremony at the Hyatt Regency Hotel, London, on Monday.

The married father-of-three and his colleagues join just 10 other people to have eceived the medal in 13 years.

Mr Burkill, of King Stephen’s Mount, St John’s, Worcester, said: “It is a great privilege for us to receive the BA Safety Medal.

“We are extremely honoured to be added to the list of the very few people who have received this award.

“The training we undergo at British Airways is second to none. During the events of January 17 these skills kicked in, as we did everything we could to ensure the safety of our passengers.”

Mr Burkill was in the cockpit of flight BA38 when power was lost to the engines of the Boeing 777.

The aeroplane was carrying 136 passengers and travelling from Beijing to London Heathrow airport, on Thursday, January 17.

With the aid of his co-pilot and crew, Mr Burkill crash-landed the plane short of the runway at Heathrow. As a result of his actions, all passengers and crew members escaping and just 13 people received treatment for minor injuries.

British Airways’ chief executive Willie Walsh said: “The crew demonstrated incredible professionalism, first in landing the aircraft safely and then evacuating all the passengers with only a few minor injuries sustained. The whole of British Airways is extremely proud of them.”

Michael Johnson, British Airways spokesman, said the silver gilt medal awarded for exceptional action by crew had only been awarded three times before – in 2000, 1998 and 1995.

Mr Burkill is back at the controls for British Airways. Further investigations into the cause of the crash are continuing.