London helicopter crash: Pilot's funeral held in Reading

Capt Pete Barnes
Image caption Mr Barnes had flown for Redhill firm Rotormotion for 15 years and had amassed 12,000 flying hours

The funeral of a pilot who died when his aircraft hit a crane in Vauxhall has been held in his hometown.

Capt Pete Barnes, 50, a father-of-two from near Reading, was killed when his helicopter clipped a crane on The Tower, St George Wharf on 16 January.

Mr Barnes who had 25 years' experience as a pilot, had flown for the air ambulance and appeared in several films during his career.

His private funeral was held at Reading Minster on Friday afternoon.

Mr Barnes' partner Rebecca Dixon and their two children - Alexandra, 12, and eight-year-old Freddy - attended the service which included poetry and tributes.

Fly past

A helicopter-shaped bouquet was laid outside the church prior to the service, along with a red, white and grey floral tribute which carried the note "G-Barnesy".

Mr Barnes' coffin was carried into the minster by six of his fellow pilots and left the building to the tune I Wanna Be Like You from Disney's The Jungle Book.

The air ambulance carried out a fly past above the church.

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Media captionHis private funeral was held at Reading Minster

Mr Barnes, who had flown in the Oscar-winning film Saving Private Ryan and Tomb Raider II, died on 16 January.

Cars and two buildings caught fire after the burning wreckage of his helicopter fell into Wandsworth Road at about 08:00 GMT.

Matthew Wood, 39, from south London, was killed as he was walking to work.

The helicopter, which was on a flight from Redhill to Elstree, was waiting to land at Battersea heliport where it had been diverted due to bad weather.

At the time of the crash there was low cloud, poor visibility and patches of freezing fog.

An investigation is being carried out by the Air Accidents Investigation Branch.

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