Helicopter crash: Pilot named

14:50 16 January 2013

A general view of the scene where a helicopter crashed in central London. Picture: Toby Scott/PA Wire

A general view of the scene where a helicopter crashed in central London. Picture: Toby Scott/PA Wire

The pilot of the helicopter which crashed in central London had thousands of hours of flying experience including for films including Die Another Day and Saving Private Ryan.

Pete Barnes, who died when the helicopter he was flying hit a crane on a high building and crashed onto a street in Vauxhall, had amassed around 9,000 hours of flying time, including 3,500 hours on the type of craft he was piloting today.

In a wide-ranging UK career spanning 18 years, he had done everything from fly air ambulances to working as a pilot on adverts, TV programmes and films including the James Bond film Die Another Day, Saving Private Ryan and Tomb Raider II.

In 2004 he helped rescue a motorist from a flooded ford in County Durham, while working for the Great North Air Ambulance.

He also flew the Newcastle Traffic & Travel helicopter as the Voice of Metro FM and worked as a helicopter instructor.

Mr Barnes originally worked as a ski instructor and guide in Europe after completing his business studies degree, before going into advertising.

But he later moved to the US to train as a helicopter pilot, earning a US Commercial and Instructors Licence flying helicopters around Florida and the East Coast.

He moved back to the UK and at the time of his death was working as a freelance pilot for RotorMotion, a company which counts among its clients the Prince of Wales, Prime Minister David Cameron, former PM Tony Blair and the Dalai Lama.

On its website RotorMotion describes Mr Barnes, who had worked for them since 1997, as one of the country’s most experienced Agusta pilots and instructor, with clients often requesting him for “both his piloting skills and his relaxed, charming manner”.

Related articles

Latest Stories

Yesterday, 15:01
The Back to the Future preview of Secret Cinema has been cancelled

Secret Cinema have cancelled their Back to the Future events until July 31.

Read more
Yesterday, 17:49
The two parts of the chair were inspired by the curves of an anonymous male model [Photo courtesy of Gigi Barker][Photo courtesy of Gigi Barker]

A London designer has created a unique chair designed to look, feel and smell like human skin.

Read more
Yesterday, 12:50
Planned engineering works could affect your journey this weekend.

There is a relatively minor programme of planned closures on the Tube and Overground network this weekend - but they could still affect your journey. Read on for the lowdown.

Read more

Quirky London

Quizzes

How much do you really know about QPR legends like Les Ferdinand? Picture: Neal Simpson/EMPICS Sport

Test your knowledge of QPR’s greatest players with our fantastic legends quiz.

Read more
How much do you know about films in London? (Photo by Fox Photos/Getty Images)

Do you know your Lock Stock from your Long Good Friday, Sliding Doors from Shakespeare in Love?

Read more
How much about this great city do you really know? Take our true Londoner quiz and find out (Photo by Matt Cardy/Getty Images)

Do you know your apples from your pears? Take our Cockney quiz and see how much of a Londoner you really are.

Read more