Pilot was warned about bad weather before crash

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Associated Press

Posted on January 23, 2013 at 9:04 AM

Updated Wednesday, Jan 23 at 12:00 PM

LONDON (AP) — The pilot involved in last week's London helicopter crash had been warned about bad weather before he started his doomed flight, according to an official report released Wednesday.

Pilot Pete Barnes and one person on the ground died in the Jan. 16 crash in central London's Vauxhall neighborhood. Others were injured by fiery debris as the helicopter hit a building crane.

The Air Accidents Investigation Branch said Barnes' client had advised him not to start the flight because of foul weather.

But Barnes sent the client a text message saying he was coming despite the weather and would "land in a field if I have to."

He was trying to pick up the passenger in Hertfordshire, northwest of London, when he hit a crane seconds after receiving permission to land at a London heliport because of bad weather.

There was heavy fog and poor visibility at the time of the crash, which took place during the morning rush hour.

Text messages released by the investigators show that another pilot had also warned Barnes of freezing fog in the area.

Barnes had 25 years' flying experience and had flown helicopters in several movies.

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