The pilot of the helicopter which crashed had thousands of hours of flying experience including for films such as Die Another Day.
The UK economy received a major boost today with news of a £125 million investment in Vauxhall's car plant, creating thousands of new jobs.
Union members at the General Motors plant in Ellesmere Port are voting on a package of changes that are likely to seal its future.
In 2004, Pete Barnes carried out a daring rescue of a motorist from a flooded ford in County Durham while working for the Great North Air Ambulance.
The paramedic who flew with him on that mission said he was one of the best pilots he had ever flown with.
The pilot of the helicopter which crashed in central London had thousands of hours of flying experience including for films such as Die Another Day and Saving Private Ryan.
Pete Barnes, 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.
Eyewitness Steve Webster saw the crash. He thought the helicopter was in difficulties before it hit the crane.
Katja Hall, CBI Chief Policy Director, said:
“This significant investment at Ellesmere Port helps to confirm the UK’s place in the fast lane of European car manufacturing. GM’s investment will secure existing jobs and create hundreds of new ones, directly and in the supply chain.
“Britain’s automotive industry is now a real success story – for the first time in decades our balance of trade in cars is positive, and major investments like this are a vote of confidence in the UK.”
These are members of staff who've lived for months with the fear that this entire plant was going to close down and they've only just found out in the last couple of days that they do have a future.
They know they make really good cars here and they say they believe in what they do - and they were facing the chance of being shut down as a result of closures across General Motors' plans. And now they know that they can go forward.
I spoke to a worker who says he can now start to plan for himself and for his children because he knows he will be in employment for a number of years to come.
Vauxhall chairman Duncan Aldred said it was a "historic day" for Vauxhall:
"This is great news for the Ellesmere Port plant, our employees, the local community, our suppliers, the Vauxhall brand and the UK. We have been able to develop a responsible labour agreement that secures the plant's future.
"With Ellesmere Port's proven build quality and a new agreement that ensures excellent cost competitiveness, this facility will provide additional employment and, as the lead plant for the next-generation Astra, will be one of the cornerstones of our European manufacturing footprint."
David Cameron said in a statement:
“This is excellent news for Ellesmere Port and for UK manufacturing.
“Once again we have seen the success of the UK automotive industry and the crucial role it plays in growing and rebalancing our economy.
“This has been a real team effort with the government, the company, unions and workers all focused on keeping production in the UK.
“And the workforce at Ellesmere Port should take great pride in their skill, hard work and commitment which has proved vital to ensuring this great result today.”
The decision follows the conclusion of a ground-breaking new labour agreement which was approved by the Vauxhall workforce yesterday.
The agreement comes into force in 2013 and runs through the life of the next-generation Astra, into the early 2020s.
Around 700 new jobs will be created at the site, with another 3,000 positions in firms which supply the plant with parts and services.