WITH 25 years' experience and more than 12,000 flying hours logged, Captain Pete Barnes (inset) was one of the most experienced helicopter pilots in Britain.
Whether performing rescues for the air ambulance service or operating as a stunt flier on Hollywood films, colleagues and friends paid tribute to his skill and professionalism.
Mr Barnes (50) was born in Nottingham and was married with two children. He gained a commercial helicopter and instructor's licence in Florida after moving to the United States in 1989.
In 1991, he returned to Britain and began working for Glenair Helicopters, helping to inspect power lines.
His skills were in high demand in films and he worked on the Bond film 'Die Another Day' and Steven Spielberg's 'Saving Private Ryan'.
Operating as a contract pilot, Capt Barnes spent several years working for the Great North Air Ambulance Service. In 2004, he won an award for outstanding courage and skill for his part in a river rescue.
Much of his recent work involved transporting VIPs for the RotorMotion company. Capt Philip Amadeus, the managing director at RotorMotion, said Capt Barnes had been "very highly skilled".
"We are devastated by the loss of a colleague." (© Daily Telegraph, London)