French industrialist, Air Force major and Member of Parliament Olivier Dassault dies in helicopter crash

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French Member of Parliament Olivier Dassault, son of Serge Dassault and grandson of Marcel Dassault, died in a helicopter crash in Normandy.

Olivier Dassault

MP Olivier Dassault died Sunday in the crash of his helicopter near Deauville, Calvados. The pilot also died.

The aircraft, an Aérospatiale AS350 Écureuil registered F-GIBM, crashed during take-off in the town of Touques, on a private flight.

Emmanuel Macron paid tribute to the MP, who was 69, in a tweet. “Olivier Dassault loved France. Captain of industry, deputy, local elected official, reserve commander in the Air Force: during his life, he never stopped serving our country, valuing its assets. His death brutal is a great loss. Thoughts on his family and loved ones,” the head of state wrote.

Olivier Dassault was a 1974 graduate of the Air Force Academy (École de l’air) and held a master’s degree in mathematics (1976) as well a doctorate in business management computing (1980).

Having qualified as a professional IFR pilot in 1975, Olivier Dassault set a number of world speed records:

  • 1977: New York to Paris in a Dassault Falcon 50
  • 1987: New Orleans to Paris in a Dassault Falcon 900 (both jointly with Hervé Le Prince-Ringuet)
  • 1996: Paris to Abu Dhabi in a Falcon 900 EX
  • 1996: Paris to Singapore in a Falcon 900 EX (both jointly with Guy Mitaux-Maurouard and Patrick Experton)

He is the only pilot qualified on the entire Falcon business aircraft range.

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