French billionaire politician Olivier Dassault was killed in a helicopter crash

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© Reuters. The French politician Olivier Dassault comes to the screening of the film “Drive” during the 37th American Film Festival in Deauville

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(Reuters) – Conservative billionaire politician Olivier Dassault was killed in a helicopter crash on Sunday, French President Emmanuel Macron said on Twitter.

Dassault, 69, was the eldest son of French billionaire industrialist Serge Dassault, whose group builds the Rafale warplanes and owns the Le Figaro newspaper.

“Olivier Dassault loved France. Captain of industry, lawmaker, elected official in the field, reserve commander of the Air Force: in his life he never stopped serving our country to evaluate his fortune. His sudden death is a great loss. Thoughts on his family.” and his loved ones, “Macron said on Twitter.

The private helicopter crashed on Sunday afternoon in Normandy, where it has a vacation home, according to a police source.

Dassault has been lawmaker of the conservative Les Republicains party since 2002 and is considered the 361st richest man in the world alongside his two brothers and sisters, according to Forbes’ 2020 list.

Due to his political role, he resigned from his role on Dassault’s board of directors in order to avoid any conflict of interest.

Olivier, considered the favorite of founder Marcel, was once considered to be Serge’s successor at the helm of the family business. However, that role went to former Dassault Aviation CEO Charles Edelstenne.

“Great sadness at the news of the sudden disappearance of Olivier Dassault,” Valerie Pecresse, a conservative politician who is president of the Paris region, said on Twitter.

“As a businessman, but also as a renowned photographer, he had a passion for politics in his blood that was rooted in his department at Oise. My warm thoughts for his family.”

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