French billionaire and right-wing politician Olivier Dassault died in a helicopter crash in Normandy, France. He was 69 years old. Dassault was the grandson of Marcel Dassault, who founded the firm that manufactures the Rafale planes.
As per reports, the helicopter carrying him crashed shortly after taking off from Normandy coastal resort in Deauville where he had a holiday home. The pilot was also killed in the crash. The cause of the crash is not yet known.
Olivier was the eldest son of Serge Dassault and inherited his father’s estate along with his two younger brothers and a sister in 2018. His personal fortune is estimated to be about €6bn (£5.2bn).
Olivier Dassault aimait la France. Capitaine d’industrie, député, élu local, commandant de réserve dans l’armée de l’air : sa vie durant, il ne cessa de servir notre pays, d’en valoriser les atouts. Son décès brutal est une grande perte. Pensées à sa famille et à ses proches.— Emmanuel Macron (@EmmanuelMacron) March 7, 2021
French President Emmanuel Macron took to Twitter to express his condolences on the death of Dassault. “Olivier Dassault loved France,” he tweeted.
The French air accident investigation bureau (BEA) reported that the aircraft, an Aérospatiale AS350 Écureuil, had crashed on take off from a private ground. The BEA has opened an inquiry and five investigators were being dispatched to the scene for investigation. As per reports, an involuntary manslaughter investigation is also underway.
Dassault was an MP for the conservative Les Republicans party since 2002 and was considered the 361st richest man in the world along with his siblings.