London - The devastated partner of the London helicopter crash pilot said on Thursday she was convinced he died battling to “save the lives of others”.

Rebecca Dixon described Pete Barnes, 50, as a “remarkable man” who would have wrestled with the stricken aircraft to steer it away from commuters as it plunged 213m to the ground after hitting a crane.

A pedestrian also died and 12 passers-by were injured in Wednesday’s crash. Police said it was “miracle” there weren’t many more fatalities after the helicopter narrowly avoided a railway line and a block of flats.

Dixon, 38, said: “Obviously Pete would have been frantic and the lives of others would have been at the forefront of his mind. It sums up the man. I find it very comforting and so do the children.”

The couple shared a home near Mortimer, Berkshire, with daughter, Alexandra, 12, and son Freddie, who turned eight on Thursday.

Dixon said Mr Barnes, a film stunt pilot, had a “real zest for life, a real twinkle in his eye”. “He just brightened up everyone’s day,” she added. - Daily Mail