£4,000 raised in memory of pilot Pete Barnes killed in London helicopter crash
MORE than £4,000 has been raised in memory of a helicopter pilot from Nottingham who died in a London crash.
Captain Pete Barnes, 50, was the only person in the helicopter when it hit a crane on top of The Tower, St George Wharf, by the River Thames.
It fell 700ft to the ground, killing one other person and injuring 12 more.
His mother Pauline Barnes, from Woodthorpe, said: "Pete was a very kindly and considerate man.
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"He grew up in Nottingham and was always very keen to keep in touch with his friends and family here.
"There were a great many people at his funeral and I'm glad this money has been raised."
Mr Barnes' father died last summer following a spell in a care home.
Mrs Barnes said: "It was the nature of Pete's personality that he would regularly go and see his ailing father.
"The rest of the time he was zooming about the country, flying the famous and the ordinary, and regularly the air ambulance.
"He never wasted a moment of his life."
She added: "His death was quite ghastly and a frightful shock. It's all still very difficult.
"It's hit his family very, very hard. His children are only eight and 12."
So far, £4,285 has been raised, at Mr Barnes' funeral and from other donations.
It will be split between two of the air ambulance services he flew with – Derbyshire, Leicestershire and Rutland, and Thames Valley and Chiltern.
A spokesman for the Air Ambulance Service said: "Pete worked with us for a number of years, flying countless rescue missions.
"He will be greatly missed and our thoughts remain with everyone who has been affected by this tragic incident.
"As a charity that receives no Government or National Lottery funding, we rely entirely on public donations so every penny really does make a difference – we're extremely grateful for everyone that has donated to this fund."
Mr Barnes' brother Chris, 55, of Edwalton added: "Pete was a fun-loving person and had a great zest for life."
Mr Barnes grew up in Nottingham and in his younger years he played rugby regularly for Nottinghamians RFC.
He also flew a few times for the Lincolnshire and Nottinghamshire Air Ambulance.