Tragic helicopter pilot Pete Barnes killed in London crash worked for Air Ambulance in Derbyshire
THE pilot killed in this morning's helicopter crash in central London has been confirmed to be former Derby student Pete Barnes, who flew the air ambulance in Derbyshire.
Captain Barnes, 50, died after his helicopter collided with a crane and fell to the ground at 8am this morning. Another person who was on the ground also died in the incident, while nine others were injured.
It is understood Captain Barnes was on a commercial flight from Surrey and had asked to be diverted to a nearby heliport because of bad weather.
He began his aviation career around 25 years ago and, in recent years, worked for the Air Ambulance Service, helping to rescue lives, including in Derbyshire.
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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.