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Birmingham RAF officer dies in Afghan helicopter crash

Tributes to Birmingham RAF officer who died in the Afghan helicopter crash Credit: ITV News Central

Tributes have been paid to an RAF intelligence officer from Birmingham who has died in a helicopter crash in Afghanistan.

Flt Lieutenant Rakesh Chauhan was one of five victims when a Lynx helicopter went down on Saturday morning.

The Ministry of Defence say it was a tragic accident.

Funeral of Nottingham pilot

Funeral of Nottingham pilot, Peter Barnes Credit: ITV News Central

Hundreds of people have attended a funeral for a Nottingham pilot who died in a helicopter crash in central London.

Peter Barnes, who was 50, was killed when his aircraft hit a crane last month.

During his career he'd worked for Air Ambulance rescue teams across the country, including services here in the Midlands.

He later moved to Reading, where his funeral took place this afternoon..


Colleague messaged Pete Barnes before flight to warn of bad weather

Pete Barnes was warned of the bad weather by a colleague Credit: ITV News

Less than an hour before Pete Barnes was killed in a helicopter crash, another pilot who was aware of his journey sent him a message, saying: "Give me a call as I have checked the weather and freezing fog around at the moment."

Mr Barnes then called the pilot to tell him the weather at Redhill, where he was departing from, was all clear. He said he knew there was fog at Elstree but was going to fly overhead to see for himself.

Pete Barnes was due to collect a client and was warned by them too about the weather conditions. He sent his client a text message back, saying "I'm coming anyway will land in a field if I have to."

The client called the pilot again to suggest that he didn't take off but Pete said he had already started the engines.

Pilot's final words before crash: "Thanks a lot"

Pete Barnes from Nottingham died in a helicopter crash in London last week Credit: ITV News

The final words of a pilot killed in a helicopter crash in London last week have been revealed.

Pete Barnes, 50, from Nottingham, died from multiple injuries when the helicopter he was flying crashed into a crane on The Tower at St George Wharf in South London.

A pedestrian, 39-year-old Matthew Wood, was also killed as he walked to work.

Air Accidents Investigation Branch confirmed Mr Barnes had a radio conversation with air traffic control just seven seconds before the crash.

Mr Barnes requested to land at London Heliport in Battersea.

After being told Battersea was open, he replied: "If I could head to Battersea that would be useful."

He was told: "Battersea diversion approved, you're cleared to Battersea".

Pete Barnes' final words, just seconds before the crash, were: "Thanks a lot."

Latest on Midlands air ambulance pilot death

Peter Barnes Credit: ITV News

The pilot who died in a helicopter crash in central London has been diverted because of bad weather, before his aircraft clipped a crane and fell to the ground, an inquest heard today.

Peter Barnes was an experienced pilot who had flown with Derbyshire, Leicestershire and Rutland air ambulance. The 50-year-old was born in Nottingham.

Mr Barnes, a father of two, had been flying from Redhill Aerodrome in Surrey to Elstree in Hertfordshire, but was diverted to Battersea heliport due to the bad weather, Southwark Coroner's Court heard.


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