747 drama pilot says “I was just doing my job”

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The pilot who performed an emergency landing at Gatwick Airport has said he was “just doing my job”.

David Williams praised his Virgin Atlantic colleagues who helped him land flight VS43 on Monday (December 29).

None of the 447 passengers and 15 crew on board the Boeing 747 for Las Vegas were reported injured after it developed a technical problem with its landing gears.

It left at 11.45am and circled Sussex for several hours before returning to Gatwick at around 3pm.

Mr Williams said: “Clearly this was an out of the ordinary landing but I was just doing my job and any one of our pilots would have taken the same actions.

“I’m really proud of my colleagues on the ground and in the air and the support they gave me during this event – everyone worked really hard in a difficult situation and we are delighted that our customers were able to travel to Las Vegas the next day for their New Year’s Eve celebrations.”

A Virgin Atlantic spokesman said around 95 per cent of its passengers left for Las Vegas at 11.15am yesterday (Tuesday December 30).