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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.



President of the AA pays tribute to 'a dedicated pilot'

Mr Barnes was also once the pilot of Newcastle Traffic and Travel helicopter as the voice of Metro FM

The AA president Edmund King has paid tribute to the Midlands Air Ambulance killed this morning calling him a 'dedicated pilot'.

Mr King added that he was 'instrumental in helping road safety' as he flew air ambulances at the time supported by the AA.

The Automobile Association president also commended one of his rescues in 2004 when a motorist was saved from the top of his car in a flooded ford in County Durham.

Pete Barnes rescuing a motorist in 2004 from the floods in County Durham

Mr Barnes was also once the pilot of Newcastle Traffic and Travel helicopter as the voice of Metro FM.

Racing driver says helicopter pilot saved his life

Pete Barnes had a flying career spanning 18 years Credit: ITV Central

A racing driver has paid tribute on Twitter to the Midlands Air Ambulance pilot killed this morning when the helicopter he was flying crashed into a London crane.

Jolyon Palmer who competes in the Formula One feeder GP2 series said Mr Barnes saved his life in 2007.

The racing driver tweeted: Pete Barnes helped save my life in 2007 after I had a serious quad bike accident. Extremely sad news today."

Loughborough MP: 'Heard an almighty bang and saw clouds of thick black smoke' as helicopter hit

Loughborough MP Nicky Morgan says she "heard an almighty bang" and "saw clouds of thick black smoke" as the helicopter crashed into a crane in South London this morning.

The MP was walking towards Vauxhall tube station, when the accident happened.

"Ms Morgan says she "saw clouds and clouds of thick black smoke billowing from the ground" and that initial thoughts were that a bomb had exploded."

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