British Airways blaze pilot: 'I'm finished flying'
The pilot of a British Airways plane which caught fire at a Las Vegas airport, forcing the evacuation of 170 people on board on emergency slides, has told NBC he is "finished flying".
Chris Henkey, from Reading, said he was "unlikely" to make a trip to Barbados, after which he was due to retire.
His fiancee said she was "very shocked", but praised him as a "hero".
Officials in the United States said the left engine of the Boeing 777-200 caught fire before take-off.
At least 14 people were taken to hospital with minor injuries after the incident on a runway at McCarran International Airport.
Describing the incident, Mr Henkey told NBC: "There was a loud bang and the aircraft sort of veered to the left. Because we had a third pilot he actually opened the door and went down into the cabin, saw how serious it was."
He told the network he had been due to fly to Barbados on Saturday and return the following Tuesday "and that would be it."
But he reportedly added: "It's safe to say I'm finished flying."
His fiancee, 40-year-old Lenka Nevolna, confirmed he was due to retire.
"He's a hero," she said. "He's a great man with a warm heart, and generosity, and I'm very proud of him."
In a recording, which appeared to be a conversation between Mr Henkey and air traffic control, he was heard saying calmly: "Mayday, mayday, Speedbird 2276 request fire services."
A woman in the control tower immediately replied: "Speedbird 2276 Heavy; fire services on the way."
Forty seconds later the captain added: "We are evacuating on the runway. We have a fire. I repeat, we are evacuating."
According to reports, Mr Henkey was applauded by passengers in the terminal building.
"I know the papers are saying now 'he's a hero'," the pilot told NBC. "[But] we have to remember there are two other pilots and cabin crew who all behaved very, very well."
BA would not confirm the identity of the captain but said he was "very experienced and has flown with British Airways for 42 years".
In a statement, the airline said the aircraft "experienced a technical issue as it was preparing for take-off".
Flight 2276 was bound for London's Gatwick airport.
There were 157 passengers and 13 crew members on board.