French billionaire Olivier Dassault dies in helicopter crash; ‘nice loss’, says President Emmanuel Macron
President Emmanuel Macron known as his demise ‘an incredible loss’ and despatched his condolences to the Dassault household, probably the most influential in France with pursuits spanning aeronautics, defence, auctioneering, wine and the media
Paris: French billionaire Olivier Dassault, a politician and scion of the Dassault aircraft-making household, was killed in a helicopter crash on Sunday.
Dassault, 69 and a father-of-three, died round 6 pm (1700 GMT) when his helicopter crashed close to the upmarket coastal resort of Deauville in northwest France, parliamentary and investigation sources informed AFP.
French President Emmanuel Macron led tributes, saying in a tweet that “Olivier Dassault liked France. Captain of business, native MP, reserve commander within the air pressure; all through his life, he by no means stopped serving our nation”.
Macron known as his demise “an incredible loss” and despatched his condolences to the Dassault household, probably the most influential in France with pursuits spanning aeronautics, defence, auctioneering, wine and the media.
The Dassault Aviation group has been a number one French airplane producer for the final 70 years and is behind the Falcon non-public jet, the Mirage warplane, and most not too long ago the state-of-the-art Rafale fighter.
Forbes journal estimated that Olivier Dassault was the 361st most rich particular person on the planet in 2020, with a fortune estimated at round 5 billion euros ($6 billion) – across the identical as his three siblings.
Involuntary manslaughter inquiry
France’s nationwide air crash investigation company, the BEA, mentioned in a tweet that the crash had occurred shortly after take-off from “non-public grounds”.
The climate in Deauville was sunny with low wind on Sunday.
Sources near the inquiry indicated that the pilot of the helicopter was additionally killed and that no-one else was on board.
An involuntary manslaughter investigation was opened by prosecutors.
The civil aviation Bureau of Investigations and Evaluation mentioned in a tweet that the helicopter, an Aerospatiale AS350 Ecureuil (Squirrel), had crashed “on take-off”.
A search space across the crash website was sealed off and the air transport place put in command of the enquiry.
French Prime Minister Jean Castex hailed Dassault as “a humanist MP, a visionary entrepreneur, a person deeply dedicated to his nation”.
Richard Ferrand, president of the Nationwide Meeting, the decrease home of parliament wherein Dassault served as a consultant for the Oise space of northern France, mentioned he was pondering of Dassault’s household and pals “who should really feel horrible ache”.
Olivier was the grandson of Marcel Bloch, a famed aeronautical engineer who modified his identify to “Dassault” which suggests “on the assault” in French.
After serving to to develop an progressive propeller used on French plane in World Battle I, Marcel was imprisoned throughout World Battle II and deported to a Nazi focus camp after refusing to collaborate with Germany’s aviation business.
Management of Dassault Aviation handed to Olivier’s father Serge, however he had not named an inheritor to succeed him when he died in 2018 after struggling coronary heart failure at his Paris workplace.
Olivier as soon as declared himself “essentially the most certified” of Serge’s 4 kids, incomes a stern public rebuke from his father.
He seemed to be on observe to take the reins however shortly earlier than his father’s demise, he resigned as chairman of the group’s supervisory board as a result of he mentioned the position was incompatible together with his parliamentary duties.
Lots of Dassault’s colleagues on the political proper paid tribute to a person who was additionally a passionate photographer, a pilot, and a composer of music.
In addition to a majority stake within the household’s aviation group, the Dassaults personal their very own winery in Bordeaux and the influential right-wing newspaper Le Figaro.
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