Billionaire Olivier Dassault dies in AS350B helicopter crash


Olivier Dassault, French billionaire, MP and grandson of Marcel Dassault – founder of Dassault Aviation – died in a helicopter crash in Normandy, France on March 7th. His father, Serge Dassault was the former Dassault chairman and CEO.

Investigators with France’s Bureau of Enquiry and Analysis for Civil Aviation Safety (BEA) said the AS350B helicopter crashed soon after take-off from the Normandy coastal resort of Deauville, where the tycoon had a holiday home, according to The Guardian.

The pilot, who was the only other person on board, was also killed in the crash.

Dassault was on the supervisory board of Dassault Aviation parent company, Groupe Industriel Marcel Dassault holding company, which controls 62.2% of shares in the OEM. Private investors hold 27.5% of the business jet and fighter maker’s equity, with Airbus holding 9.9%.

Dassault graduated from the French air force academy and set a number of speed records, including the fastest New York-Paris trip in a Dassault Falcon 50 in 1977.

On Twitter, French president Emmanuel Macron said: “As a business leader, MP, local councillor, a reserve commander in the air force, throughout his life he never ceased to serve our country, to promote what was great about it. His brutal death is a great loss. Our thoughts go to his family and his friends.”

Olivier Dassault was a man of many talents: pilot, engineer, politician, artist, whose achievements I have been able to appreciate on many occasions. He was first and foremost, for me, a very present Director, always at the company’s side in the many challenges it faces, said Eric Trappier, chairman and CEO of Dassault Aviation.