London, Jan 22, 2008 / 05:15 am (CNA).- Co-pilot John Coward, who was at the controls of a Boeing 777 on Friday when the plane’s engines failed, credited God for averting a “major catastrophe,” Agence-France Presse reports.
The 41-year-old piloted the British Airways plane on approach to Heathrow Airport. Though the engines failed, he guided the plane within the airport perimeter, narrowly passing over neighboring rooftops.
All 136 passengers and 16 crew survived the crash-landing.
"Normally in emergency situations, your training takes over," Coward told the Mail on Sunday newspaper.
"But training doesn't help much when your engines have just died and you are still short of the runway.
"I tried to keep the aircraft straight and when we went down I remember thinking, 'This is going to be a major catastrophe'.
"All the crew did their job absolutely brilliantly, but I think some thanks has to go to the man upstairs for giving us that little lift at the end,” Coward said.
The cause of the engine failure is under investigation.