NICE, France: Two men — a pilot and a Russian businessman — died on Friday when a civilian helicopter flying from Switzerland to Monaco crashed in southern France, officials said. A regional official said “two bodies were recovered” after the accident, which occurred near the city of Nice at around 2:00 pm. The victims were identified as the pilot of the helicopter, operated by private company Monacair, and the passenger, a businessman who was “a Russian national with a Maltese passport”, the official said.
Another expected passenger on the flight from Lausanne to Monaco ‘cancelled at the last minute’, Monacair told AFP.
The pilot, who was in his early thirties, ‘did his entire training in the region and knew it very well’, it said, adding that the helicopter was extremely modern.
Rescue services said more than 50 emergency workers were sent to the crash site along with air transport police. There was no risk of wildfire, the said.