THE family of Captain Pete Barnes, the pilot killed in the helicopter crash in London, have said the safety of others would have been in the forefront of his mind when the aircraft got into difficulty.
The 50-year-old’s long-term partner Rebecca Dixon said she has felt “numb” since learning on Wednesday morning of the “remarkable” man’s death.
“Obviously he would have been frantic and the lives of others would have been at the forefront of his mind,” the 38-year-old said. “It sums up the man. I find it very comforting and so do the children.”
The experienced pilot, who was father to Alexandra, 12, and eight-year-old Freddie, was killed when the helicopter he was flying hit the jib of a crane in the Vauxhall area of London before crashing onto the street below.
As the debris hit the ground, it claimed the life of pedestrian Matthew Wood, 39, from Sutton, south London, and injured 12 other people.
Eyewitnesses told how the aircraft’s rotor blades sliced through the crane “as if it was a piece of paper”.
Ms Dixon, who lives in a village near Reading, said her partner will be remembered for his ability to make everyone around him happy.
“He was very enthusiastic. He put a great smile on anyone’s face. He just brightened up everyone’s day. He was quite a remarkable man,” she added.