French MP and billionaire Olivier Dassault has died in a helicopter crash in north-western France, the BBC reports.
The accident occurred on Sunday evening in Normandy where he had a holiday home, according to police sources.
In his tribute, President Emmanuel Macron said Dassault, 69, loved France and his death would be “a great loss”.
Dassault was the son of industrialist Serge Dassault, whose group builds Rafale war planes and owns Le Figaro newspaper.
He was elected to the National Assembly – France’s lower house of parliament – in 2002 and represented the Oise area of northern France.
The MP, from the centre-right Republicans, was considered the 361st richest man in the world – worth an estimated $7.3bn, according to Forbes.
“Olivier Dassault loved France. Captain of industry, lawmaker, local elected official, reserve commander in the air force: during his life, he never ceased to serve our country, to value its assets. His sudden death is a great loss,” Mr Macron said on Twitter.
The helicopter carrying Dassault crashed near Deauville at about 18:00 (1700 GMT), sources told AFP news agency. The pilot was also killed, the sources added. No-one else was on board.