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Pilot's last words, seconds before helicopter crash

Pete Barnes Credit: Meridian

The final words of a pilot killed in a helicopter crash in central London were revealed today. Pete Barnes, 50, died from multiple injuries when the aircraft he was flying clipped a high-rise crane on The Tower at St George Wharf, Vauxhall, South London, last week.

Pedestrian Matthew Wood, 39, was also killed as he walked to work. A report by the Air Accidents Investigation Branch revealed the pilot completed a radio conversation with air traffic control seven seconds before the crash.

Mr Barnes requested to land at London Heliport in Battersea. He asked: "Is Battersea open, do you know?" After being told the heliport was open, he replied: "If I could head to Battersea that would be very useful."

Just 15 seconds before hitting the crane, air traffic control told the pilot: "Battersea diversion approved, you're cleared to Battersea." His final words were: "Thanks a lot."