British Airways to rehire captain of crashed 777

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British Airways is poised to rehire the captain of the Boeing 777-200 which crashed at London Heathrow, nearly three years after the accident and his subsequent decision to leave the company.

Capt Peter Burkill was the commander of flight BA038 from Beijing which crashed at Heathrow on 17 January 2008, after ice obstructed the fuel system during final approach.

A source familiar with the situation states that Burkill is likely to rejoin the carrier in November, although contracts have yet to be finalised.

Burkill has released a statement on his personal website, in which he says: "I am delighted that the discussions with British Airways, have come to a mutually, happy conclusion. In my opinion British Airways is the pinnacle of any pilot's career and it is my honour and privilege to be returning to an airline that I joined as a young man."

Everyone on board BA038 survived the accident, and investigators praised the actions of Burkill and his crew.

But Burkill felt under pressure in the months afterwards and eventually left the airline. Although he wanted to continue flying, he struggled to find alternative employment as a pilot, partly owing to the stigma of his association with the high-profile crash.

In the interim period he wrote a book about his experience of the accident.

British Airways simply states that Burkill was a "valued colleague" and that the airline "would welcome him back" as a captain.

"We have always supported and praised everyone's actions involved in managing the BA38 incident," says a spokesman for the carrier.