French billionaire Olivier Dassault dies in helicopter crash

Olivier Dassault, the French billionaire and long-serving MP, has died in a helicopter crash. The private helicopter went down over Touques near the seaside resort of Deauville in northern France at around 6pm on Sunday. It is believed the pilot also died in the crash. President Emmanuel Macron paid tribute to the 69-year-old father-of-three on social media, describing his death as a great loss. "Olivier Dassault loved France. Captain of industry, deputy, local elected official, reserve commander in the air force: during his life, he never ceased to serve our country, to value its assets. His death is a great loss. Thoughts with his family and loved ones." Mr Dassault was a fighter pilot as a young man and served various roles within his family's international aerospace company, Dassault Aviation, which builds military and civil aircraft, including the Rafale fighter plane and also owns Le Figaro newspaper. Olivier Dassault served as an MP for the Republican party Credit:  WireImage He stepped down from the company to enter politics and served as an MP for the Republican party representing the Oise area since 2002. Mr Dassault was listed as the 361st richest person on the planet on Forbes magazine's 2020 list, with a fortune estimated at more than £5 billion. In a tweet, France's Civil Aviation Safety Investigation Authority revealed that the fatal accident involved an AS350 Écureuil and happened during take-off from a private property. Mr Dassault has a holiday home in Deauville and was returning to Oise on Sunday night. Prosecutors have opened an investigation into possible involuntary manslaughter.

French billionaire Olivier Dassault dies in helicopter crash

Olivier Dassault, the French billionaire and long-serving MP, has died in a helicopter crash.

The private helicopter went down over Touques near the seaside resort of Deauville in northern France at around 6pm on Sunday. It is believed the pilot also died in the crash.

President Emmanuel Macron paid tribute to the 69-year-old father-of-three on social media, describing his death as a great loss.

"Olivier Dassault loved France. Captain of industry, deputy, local elected official, reserve commander in the air force: during his life, he never ceased to serve our country, to value its assets. His death is a great loss. Thoughts with his family and loved ones."

Mr Dassault was a fighter pilot as a young man and served various roles within his family's international aerospace company, Dassault Aviation, which builds military and civil aircraft, including the Rafale fighter plane and also owns Le Figaro newspaper.

Olivier Dassault served as an MP for the Republican party Credit:  WireImage

He stepped down from the company to enter politics and served as an MP for the Republican party representing the Oise area since 2002.

Mr Dassault was listed as the 361st richest person on the planet on Forbes magazine's 2020 list, with a fortune estimated at more than £5 billion.

In a tweet, France's Civil Aviation Safety Investigation Authority revealed that the fatal accident involved an AS350 Écureuil and happened during take-off from a private property.

Mr Dassault has a holiday home in Deauville and was returning to Oise on Sunday night. Prosecutors have opened an investigation into possible involuntary manslaughter.