Everyone at the Great North Air Ambulance Service was saddened to hear the news that a former employee of the charity, Captain Peter Barnes, died while flying a helicopter in London yesterday.
Captain Barnes flew on hundreds of missions throughout the GNAAS region for a period of about eight years and played a pivotal role in the rescue of many patients, some of whom would not be alive today without this intervention.
Speaking yesterday, GNAAS’ Director of Operations Kevin Hodgson, said: “Pete was as good a guy as you can imagine and one of the best pilots I’ve ever had the pleasure of flying with.”
Mr Hodgson, who worked alongside Captain Barnes for several years, said that although his former colleague stopped flying with the charity about four years ago, he remained a friend of many within the organisation and had visited the Durham Tees Valley Airport base as recently as last year.
He added: “Over the years Pete will have flown on dozens of missions, no doubt saving lives along the way. Everyone at the charity is deeply saddened at this news. Our thoughts are with everyone affected by the tragedy.”