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Report into death of Great North Air Ambulance pilot

Peter Barnes died when his helicopter crashed into a crane Credit: ITV Meridian

A report is due to be published into a helicopter crash in London which claimed the life of a former pilot with the Great North Air Ambulance.

Peter Barnes, who worked for years on the Great North Air Ambulance, died from multiple injuries when the aircraft he was flying clipped a high-rise crane on The Tower at St George Wharf in Vauxhall.

Leaked copies of the Civil Aviation Authority report suggests that the pilot may have been unaware of the existence of large cranes in the area as he flew at low altitude in foggy conditions.

Read More: Helicopter tribute at pilot's funeral


Air ambulance lands at Durham Cathedral to help stricken pedestrian

The Great North Air Ambulance landed at Durham Cathedral to treat a man who had been hit by a bus. It happened close to the North Road bus station in the city shortly before 3pm today (July 28).

The man, who has critical, possibly life-threatening injuries to his chest and abdomen, was airlifted to the RVI.

GNAA lands outside Durham Cathedral airlift critically ill patient. Credit: GNAA
Great North Air Ambulance in operation. Credit: GNAA

Air Ambulance gets new home at Newcastle Airport

The Great North Air Ambulance has been given a new base at Newcastle Airport.
The move will dramatically improve response times for emergencies in Northumberland.

The Great North Air Ambulance has been given a new base at Newcastle Airport.

It will be its second base in the North East and will mean a much quicker response time when it is called out to emergencies in Northumberland.

Several people taken to hospital after A174 crash

Several people have been taken to hospital after a three-vehicle crash near Saltburn.

The A174 Brotton bypass is currently closed at the junction with North Skelton to the Kilton Lane roundabout after the incident at around 5pm this evening.

The Great North Air Ambulance was sent to the scene along with several ambulances and paramedics.

The injured people have been taken to James Cook hospital in Middlesbrough.

More to follow.


Police raise funds for two charities

Cheque presentation to Zoe's Place Credit: Cleveland Police

Two charities have benefitted from a road safety event organised by Cleveland Police's Motorcycle section.

The Great North Air Ambulance and Zoe’s Place were presented with cheques for £500 each from the proceeds raised at Ridewell 2013, which was held at Preston Park on Sunday 11th August.

Ridewell, which held its twelfth event this year, continues in its efforts to reduce the number of serious injuries and fatalities on the county’s roads.

Cheque presentation to the Great North Air Ambuance Credit: Cleveland Police

Assistant Chief Constable Sean White said: “We are very pleased to be able to present the Great North Air Ambulance and Zoe’s Place with this money, which will hopefully go some way in continuing with their incredible work.”

Cyclist airlifted to hospital

A cyclist has been airlifted to hospital with serious head and back injuries after colliding with a farm trailer. It happened near Crook in County Durham at 10 o'clock this morning.

The 46 year old man was treated at the scene by a paramedic before being airlifted to the Royal Victoria Infirmary in Newcastle by the Great North Air Ambulance. His condition is described as stable.

Crash survivor backs air ambulance

A woman who was in a coma for three weeks after a motorcycle crash in County Durham is now helping the air ambulance which first flew to her assistance.

Karen O'Connor's life was in the balance after the crash in 2011 and medics initially feared she could be paralysed from the neck down.

The 52-year-old had been thrown from her bike after colliding with a car on the A688 through the village of Stainton Grove, near Barnard Castle.

She was attended to by Great North Air Ambulance Service (GNAAS) and although not paralysed in the accident, she faced a long recovery.

"I have no recollection of the accident and my husband knew the first 24 hours could go either way. Now, I want to continue to support the service for as long as I live."

– Karen O'Connor

Karen O'Connor is encouraging new bikers to support the Great North Air Ambulance through her motorcycle training company, which she runs with her husband Ian, in Bishop Auckland.

The academy offers compulsory basic training, a test that is required for all learner riders.

"We want to encourage people to drive safe, while helping to raise money for the charity that saved my life. The air ambulance is all about time - the difference between living and dying. They are a permanent service and we are long-standing supporters."

– Karen O'Connor

Full Report: Calls for air ambulance tax cuts

The Great North Air Ambulance costs millions of pounds a year to run and the charity does it without public or government funding.

Four of the region's MPs now want to help cut those costs by campaigning for tax breaks for the service.

The charity runs three helicopters across Cumbria, North Yorkshire and the North East of England.

The politicians say if it was exempt from VAT on fuel, it would save tens of thousands of pounds.

Katie Oakes has the full report below.

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