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Crane crash pilot ‘ignored warnings’

London -

A pilot killed when his helicopter hit a crane in London was urged twice to abandon the planned flight because of bad weather and poor visibility, the first official crash report reveals.

In this January 16, 2013 file photo, debris lies on the ground after a helicopter crashed into a construction crane on top of St George's Wharf tower building, in London. Credit: AP

Even as Pete Barnes, 50, was starting up his engines at Redhill, Surrey, the passenger waiting to be picked up by him in Hertfordshire told him by phone he “should not take off”. Mr Barnes, from Berkshire, texted back: “I’m coming anyway”.

He flew into a fog-shrouded crane in Vauxhall at around 8.30am on January 16 and died when his helicopter plunged 700ft to the ground, also killing a pedestrian.

The Air Accidents Investigation Branch report suggests that warning lights on top of the crane were off because it officially needed to be lit ‘at night only’. - Daily Mail

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