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Vauxhall Helicopter Crash Pilot Pete Barnes 'Was Diverted', Inquest Hears

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HELICHRASH
Pete Barnes was killed along with a pedestrian in the crash | PA

The pilot who died in a helicopter crash in central London had been diverted because of bad weather, an inquest has been told.

Pete Barnes, 50, 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 below.

pete barnes

Captains Pete Barnes and Philip Louis Amadeus of Rotormotion

The father of two had been flying from Redhill Aerodrome in Surrey to Elstree in Hertfordshire but was diverted to Battersea heliport in his twin-engine AgustaWestland 109 helicopter, Southwark Coroner's Court heard.

vauxhall crash

The helicopter was seen cartwheeling to the ground during rush hour

London Inner South Coroner Andrew Harris heard how police, the fire brigade and the HEMS air ambulance all attended the scene and Mr Barnes was pronounced dead by the HEMS doctor.

pete barnes

Pete Barnes was one of the UK's best pilots

Dr Harris said he would review the case in three months and did not set a date for a future hearing.

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 and Tomb Raider II.

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Flaming wreckage after the crash

Mr Barnes, from Berkshire, has been described as "a good guy" who was "full of life and great fun".

He was born in Nottingham on 9 December 1962 and was single, the inquest heard.

Pedestrian Matthew Wood, 39, from Sutton, Surrey, 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.

matt wood

Matthew Wood from Surrey was killed

Neighbour Yvonne Humphries said he was a "lovely, cuddly teddy bear", and his sister, Amanda Wood, said he was a "big guy with a big heart" who doted on his godson, his brother Darren's child.

The coroner did not set a date for the opening of the inquest into Mr Wood's death.

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