Two air ambulance services have paid tribute to Pete Barnes, who had flown missions for them and was killed in a helicopter crash in London yesterday.
Barnes died after the helicopter he was piloting hit a crane in poor weather conditions in Vauxhall, south London.
He had been employed on a freelance basis by both the Great North Air Ambulance and the Derbyshire, Leicestershire and Rutland Air Ambulance.
Barnes worked for the Great North Air Ambulance between about 2001 and 2009, a spokesman for the charity said.
Kevin Hodgson, director of operations at the Great North Air Ambulance, who worked alongside Barnes on many missions, 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.
"Over the years he 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."
A spokeswoman for the DLRAA said Barnes had worked for the charity for several years but was unable to confirm when that had been.
A statement from the charity said: "Pete had worked with us for many years and will be greatly missed. Our thoughts are with his family and with all the families affected by this tragedy."