Helicopter crash pilot was former Durham rescue flyer

The scene after a helicopter crashed into a construction crane on top of St George's Wharf tower building, in Vauxhall south  London.
The scene after a helicopter crashed into a construction crane on top of St George's Wharf tower building, in Vauxhall south London.
1
Have your say

THE helicopter pilot who died in a crash in central London previously flew for the Great North Air Ambulance and Metro Radio.

Pete Barnes worked for the North East-based charity as it rescued patients and was also a pilot for Metro’s Starburst 1’s traffic helicopter.

The scene in London showing where a helicopter crahed into a car after colliding with a crane on top of a tower block in south London this morning.  PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Wednesday January 16 2013. See PA story. Photo credit should read: Stefan Rousseau/PA

The scene in London showing where a helicopter crahed into a car after colliding with a crane on top of a tower block in south London this morning. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Wednesday January 16 2013. See PA story. Photo credit should read: Stefan Rousseau/PA

His career also saw him pilot helicopters in action scenes in films including Die Another Day, Tomb Raider II and Saving Private Ryan.

He died when his helicopter spun out of control and crash landed near to Vauxhall train station after trying to divert to a helipad, reportedly due to bad weather.

It clipped a crane on top of one The Tower, One St George’s Wharf, which is one Europe’s tallest residential buildings, exploding and crashing into the streets below.

The tragedy, which happened at around 8am today also claimed the life of a person who had been on the ground and 12 others injured.

During his 18-year-old career, Mr Barnes worked in America and instructed others on how to fly.

In 2004, while he was working for the Great North Air Ambulance, he was hailed a hero for helping to rescue a driver from a County Durham ford.

He had worked as a freelance pilot for RotorMotion, an executive helicopter charter business, since 1997 and was on a flight from Redhill in Surrey to Elstree when the crash happened.

The business said he had attracted repeat business from clients thanks to his “skills and relaxed charming manner.”