MATTHEW Wood from Sutton has been named as the second victim of the helicopter crash in central London this morning. It is believed Mr Wood, 39, was fatally injured when the helicopter struck a crane on the St George Wharf development and then fell to the ground on Wandsworth Road. The exact circumstances of Mr Wood's death are unclear, but the Metropolitan Police Service said family liaison officers were with his family. Captain Pete Barnes, who was flying the helicopter, was named as the other fatality in the crash. Cpt Barnes, an experienced pilot who had flown helicopters for air ambulance services across the country and in films, was working freelance for RotorMotion in Redhill. The 50-year-old was from Reading and had two children. Those who had worked with him described him as highly-skilled, reliable, trustworthy, and a 'true gentleman'. Great North Air Ambulance director of operations said Cpt Barnes was 'as good a guy as you can imagine and one of the best pilots I've ever had the pleasure of flying with'. Cpt Barnes took off from Redhill Aerodrome at about 7.35am on the way to Elstree in Hertfordshire. London Heliport in Battersea issued a statement saying he had asked to divert there due to poor weather conditions. "Earlier in the helicopter's journey the pilot had been receiving an air traffic control service from NATS," the statement said. The London Heliport never gained contact with the helicopter." The Air Accidents Investigation Branch is working to establish the cause of the incident.
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