Pilot Pete Barnes killed in London helicopter crash worked for air ambulance in Leicestershire
The pilot who was killed this morning when his helicopter hit a crane in central London has been named as Pete Barnes, Sky news reported today.
It is believed that Mr Barnes was a pilot for Derbyshire, Leicestershire and Rutland air ambulance and was educated in Oakham.
The helicopter smashed into a crane on St George Wharf Tower, in Vauxhall, amid heavy fog.
It cartwheeled out of the sky, smashed into two cars as it hit the ground and exploded into flames.
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The pilot - the only person aboard the helicopter - and a person on the ground were killed, the Metropolitan Police said.
Captain Barnes, aged, 50, has been described as one of the experienced aviators in the UK.
Mr Barnes was working freelance for Rotormotion , which is based at Redhill Aerodrome in Surrey. The Rotormotion website describes him as having a 'relaxed and charming manner', and says he was one of the most experienced Augusta helicopter pilots and instructor in the country.
Captain Philip Amadeus, managing director of Rotormotion, said: "We are devastated by the loss of a highly valued colleague and very dear friend.
"Our thoughts and condolences are with Peter's wife and children."
It is understood he was born in Nottingham in 1962 and was educated at the Oakham Independent school, before going on to study business and marketing at what is now called the University of Derby.
After graduation he worked as a ski instructor across Europe before later entering the advertising industry.
His passion for aviation soon took hold in 1989.
During his career, Captain Barnes logged more than 10,500 flying hours and was highly regarded among his peers for his skill and professionalism.
He used his aviation skills for the purposes of filming, opening up a new and exciting career line, and he eventually started his own business, called Helivision Ltd.
His TV and film credits have included the 2002 James Bond movie, Die Another Day, Saving Private Ryan, Tomb Raider II and the popular BBC show Coast.
During the summer he was employed by the London Olympics organisers in a number of roles and has also piloted helicopters involved in the monitoring of the America's Cup yachting race and F1 Powerboat racing.