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A French aviation billionaire and pilot died in a helicopter crash

Paris (AP) – A French billionaire aviation industry member of parliament has died in a helicopter crash with his pilot, authorities say.

Olivier Dassault, 69, was the heir to a powerful family business empire that made Falcon private jets, Rafale fighter jets, and owned many other businesses, including Le Figaro.

A trial is under way in connection with the final murder in the town of Tukes, Normandy, on Sunday, according to the Lisio Regional Prosecutor’s Office.

The French National Air Accident Investigation Agency (BEA) reported that the Airbus AS350 helicopter crashed shortly after takeoff from a private airport. BEA investigators visited the site on Monday.

Forbes magazine named Olivier Dassault one of the 500 richest people in the world in 2020. He has held executive positions in the family-owned Dassault Group, as he has served in the lower house of parliament as a Conservative Republican lawmaker since 2002.

President Emanuel Macron tweeted a tribute to “the captain of industry, a member of parliament, a locally elected leader, an Air Force reserve officer,” saying “his tragic death is a great loss.”

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