THE man who died in a helicopter crash in London last Wednesday is a former pilot of Lincolnshire and Nottinghamshire Air Ambulance Service.
Fifty-year-old Pete Barnes died when his aircraft collided with a crane on top of The Tower, One St George Wharf, in South Lambeth at around 8am on Wednesday.
Another person was killed in the accident and 12 were hurt.
Mr Barnes, who lived near Reading, had asked to be diverted to a nearby heliport because of bad weather.
Graham Dawson, of Lincolnshire and Nottinghamshire Air Ambulance said Mr Barnes was a ‘highly experienced freelance pilot’ who worked from time to time with many organisations.
During his career he piloted helicopters in action scenes for films Die Another Day, Tomb Raider II and Saving Private Ryan.
He has also carried A-list celebrities including Tom Cruise and Angelina Jolie.
During the summer he was employed by the London Olympics and had also piloted helicopters involved in the monitoring of the America’s Cup yachting race and F1 Powerboat racing.
Mr Barnes had been working as a freelance pilot for RotorMotion which has several high-profile clients including Prime Minister David Cameron, the Prince of Wales, former PM Tony Blair and the Dalai Lama.
Andy Williamson, chief executive of Air Ambulance, said Mr Barnes had served the medical service for several years with great distinction and would be missed by everyone who worked with him.
“We are deeply saddened to hear the news that Pete Barnes was killed in the helicopter accident in London,” he said.
“Pete had worked with us for many years and will be greatly missed.
“Our thoughts are with his family and with all the families affected by this tragedy.”