Pete Barnes, 50, appeared in 007 flick Die Another Day, as well as action films Saving Private Ryan and Tomb Raider II, reports the Daily Star.
In his 18-year career, he racked up 9,000 hours’ flying experience at the controls of VIP flights, air ambulances and police helicopters and he pioneered the traffic copter on Tyneside.
Broadcaster Alan Robson, of Metro Radio in Newcastle said Barnes was a stylish, handsome guy, who could have auditioned for James Bond. Kevin Hodgson of the GNAA said Barnes was one of the best pilots he had ever had the pleasure of flying with.
Over the years, he flew on dozens of missions, saving lives along the way, he added. Once he saved a stranded motorist from a flooded ford while working for the Great North Air Ambulance service. Another friend told how Pete had survived a crash-landing about 16 years ago, after his electrics failed.
Pete used to show people photos of the wreckage, he said. The self-employed pilot was working for high-class air firm RotorMotion, whose clients have included PM David Cameron and the Dalai Lama.