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London Helicopter Crash: Funeral Of Pilot Takes Place

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A helicopter-shaped floral tribute was laid at the funeral of the pilot who died when he crashed in central London.

Pete Barnes, 50, died from multiple injuries when the helicopter he was flying clipped a high-rise crane attached to The Tower at St George Wharf in Vauxhall.

pete barnes funeral

Floral tributes at funeral of helicopter pilot

Family, friends and fellow pilots attended Reading Minster to pay tribute to the father of two today.

pete barnes

Pete Barnes, pictured on the order of service

A red, white and grey floral tribute was laid outside the Minster, carrying a note which said "G-Barnesy".

Another note read: "Barnesy, you were tip top... Gone too soon but never forgotten."

pete barnes

Pilots carry the coffin of Pete Barnes

Flowers were laid on top of Mr Barnes's coffin, which was carried into the Minster by fellow pilots, among others.

The pilot, from Berkshire, had two children - 12-year-old Alexandra and eight-year-old Freddy - with his partner Rebecca Dixon.

He was flying from Redhill Aerodrome in Surrey to Elstree in Hertfordshire but was diverted to Battersea heliport due to the bad weather.

Shortly afterwards, his helicopter clipped the crane.

Witnesses described hearing a loud bang and a flash of light as the twin-engine aircraft crashed near Wandsworth Road.

Video footage and photos flooded on to social media sites showing chaotic scenes, burning wreckage and vehicles charred by flames.

Pedestrian Matthew Wood, 39, from Sutton, Surrey, was also killed in the incident as he walked to work. He died from severe burns and a leg injury.

Mr Barnes was a veteran pilot, with 25 years' experience, and had flown as an air ambulance pilot and in several films during his career, including Oscar-winning Saving Private Ryan and Tomb Raider II.

He has been described as "a good guy" who was "full of life and great fun".

A helicopter flew past the Minster twice at the end of the funeral.

During the service, a poem chosen by Mr Barnes's children - Scaffolding by Seamus Heaney - was read out and the pilot's brother Chris was among those to read a tribute.

The song I Wanna Be Like You from the Jungle Book was played as mourners filed out of the service.

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London helicopter crash: Pilot's funeral held in hometown