Well, let's hear it for Captain Peter Burkill and his Co-Pilot John Coward who expertly and successfully brought stricken flight BA038 to a hairy but happy conclusion a couple of days ago. Or rather, if we are to respect their wishes, let's not. In true British iconic style, both Captain Burkill and First Officer Coward would just prefer to put their achievement down to good training and the reliability of their team rather than make a big deal of it or portray themselves as high-flying heroes. It is said that they find the story's front page status "embarrassing." How incredibly refreshing.
At a time when UK news is full of the fanciful sycophantic babblings of ex-Royal butler Paul (I've got a secret) Burrell, who obviously can't tell the difference between a patronising pat on the head and proper Royal Patronage, and who has remained in and out of the spot-light for the last ten years by spreading a little information incredibly thinly in order to appear more important than he actually is, it's comforting to learn that we still have heroes in this country who prefer to remain unsung.
It's hard to imagine the incredible pressure put on airline pilots and crews at the best of times. It can't be a stress-free job even in the general run of things. But can you imagine how it must feel to be in charge of the huge Boeing 777, 10 tonnes of fuel and the lives of 152 passengers and crew at the moment you realise the rubber band's bust? It's bad enough driving a car when you stick your foot on the gas and nothing happens, but at 600ft in the air? And still they had the presence of mind not to swap controls to let Captain Peter bring the plane in, thus saving valuable seconds, but held their nerve and did everything BA's extensive training had prepared them for. Fantastic.
And afterwards? Declaring that they were only doing their jobs, that they didn't want a fuss and after paying due tribute to their colleagues, what did they do then?
They went out for a quiet curry.
Bloody good show, chaps.