HERO pilot Peter Burkill has written a book charting the moments that his Boeing 777 plane lost power and changed his life forever.

Captain Burkill, of King Stephen’s Mount, St John’s, Worcester, was hailed a hero when British Airways Flight 38 lost power over Heathrow in January 2008 and came down 330 metres short of the runway.

His actions averted disaster, but within days of the near-catastrophe, influential voices and national media were criticising Capt Burkill for handing control of the plane to his First Officer so that he could adjust the wing flaps – a decision that ultimately saved 152 lives.

Thirty Seconds to Impact, published by AuthorHouse, is written jointly by Capt Burkill and his wife Maria.

In the book, the couple reveal how their lives imploded after the crash; how Capt Burkill, as a member of British Airways, was forbidden to talk to the press and forced to remain silent as the accusations flew.

Written as two parallel narratives, the book tells the story from both sides – from the day of the accident to Capt Burkill’s decision to take voluntary redundancy from British Airways in August 2009.

It also claims that Capt Burkill, who became paranoid and increasingly angry while his wife started suffering from depression, was professionally blacklisted until earlier this year, when official reports cleared his name.

An air accident investigations bureau report last month concluded that it was most likely ice in the fuel system that resulted in engine power loss.

At the time, Capt Burkill described how the accident would stay with him forever.

“I always think about it – as well as my wife – it will probably never leave me,” he said.

“When I realised we were coming in far too steeply with the loss of power and we were heading towards the buildings, I had to reduce the drag and as we were going to crash on ground, I needed the landing gear.

“The gear was going to take most of the brunt of the crash so I daren’t raise that up.”

As the plane hit the ground and slid 372 metres before coming to rest, Capt Burkill feared he was going to die.

He said: “We were now in an aircraft on the ground that was sliding uncontrollably and at that point I thought I was going to die, so I said goodbye to my wife.”

The Burkills hope that their revelatory book will show people the human truth behind the media headlines.

Thirty Seconds to Impact is out now and available online through Amazon and authoright.com.