An Air Accident investigation has found that a helicopter crash could have been avoided if concerns about a high rise building had been acted on years before the accident.
Former air ambulance pilot Peter Barnes from Nottingham, was killed when his helicopter hit the jib of a crane in London in January last year.
The Air Accidents Investigation Branch's report into a helicopter crash that took place in Vauxhall, south London, last year, stated:
- The building at St George Wharf was added to the UK's digital vertical obstruction file by co-incidence rather than through a systematic process
- It was not included in the helicopter's obstacle database
- Pilot Pete Barnes did not see the crane, or saw it too late to take effective avoiding action
- He turned on to a collision course with the crane and was probably unaware of the helicopter's proximity to the building at the beginning of the turn
Concerns about the safety of flying in the vicinity of a high-rise building in London were raised four years before a helicopter crashed into a crane at the site, an accident report has said.
The Civil Aviation Authority (was questioned over the effect of the then-proposed St George Wharf development on helicopter flights in 2009 by the operator of Battersea Heliport in south London.
But the Air Accidents Investigation Branch said in its report into the crash that the raising of the concerns "does not appear to have led to further discussion or action".
The pilot who died in a helicopter crash in central London had been diverted because of bad weather before his aircraft clipped a crane and then plunged to the ground, an inquest was told today.
Pete Barnes, 50, from Reading, died from multiple injuries after the helicopter he was flying hit a high-rise crane on The Tower at St George Wharf, Vauxhall, and crashed into Wandsworth Road.
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.
He was flying a twin-engine AgustaWestland 109 helicopter.
Police, the fire brigade and the HEMS air ambulance all attended the scene and Mr Barnes was pronounced dead by the HEMS doctor, London Inner South Coroner Andrew Harris heard.
Dr Harris said he would review the case in three months and did not set a date for a future hearing.
The inquest into the death of a pilot killed in a helicopter crash in central London is due to open and adjourn today.
Pete Barnes, 50, from Reading, died from multiple injuries when the aircraft he was flying clipped a high-rise crane on The Tower at St George Wharf, Vauxhall, last week.
Witnesses described the twin-engine Agusta Westland 109 plunging to the ground in Wandsworth Road, leaving burning wreckage and vehicles charred by flames.
The inquest into his death is due to open and adjourn at Southwark Coroner's Court. A full inquest hearing will take place at a later date.
Mr Barnes had been flying from Redhill in Surrey to Elstree, Hertfordshire, but he asked to be diverted to Battersea heliport because of bad weather.
There has been speculation that he could have been distracted as he tried to operate his radio.
Aviation lawyer and qualified pilot James Healy-Pratt told the Daily Telegraph: "It could have taken 10 to 15 seconds to make the change of radio frequency, in which time the helicopter could have flown up to half a mile."
The veteran pilot, who had 25 years' experience, had flown as an air ambulance pilot and in several films during his career including Oscar-winning Saving Private Ryan.
Mr Barnes, a father of two from Berkshire, was described as "a good guy" who was "full of life and great fun".
Pedestrian Matthew Wood, 39, from Sutton, was also killed in the tragedy as he walked to work. He died from severe burns and a leg injury, a post-mortem examination revealed last week.
VIDEO: Captain Pete Barnes, pilot of the crashed helicopter, describes his role in Bond films. This item was shot in 2002.
VIDEO: Captain Pete Barnes, pilot of the crashed helicopter, was highly respected by his peers. He was well known an a pilot with the Air Ambulance Service, and was involved in countless rescue missions. We have compiled a short tribute film from ITV News pictures.
The Berkshire pilot of the helicopter which crashed in central London had thousands of hours of flying experience including work for films such as Die Another Day and Saving Private Ryan.
Captain Pete Barnes, from Mortimer near Reading, 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 flying 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 to 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 Instructor's Licence flying helicopters.
It's been confirmed that the pilot of the crashed helicopter was Captain Pete Barnes from Mortimer near Reading. More shortly.
Prime Minister David Cameron said the rules for helicopter flights over central London would need to be carefully looked at following this morning's fatal crash.
Speaking at Prime Minister's Questions, he also paid tribute to the "brave and professional" response of the emergency services to the crash in Vauxhall, central London, after a commercial helicopter hit a crane on a high-rise building.