JULY 2, 2007

More on the Magny-Cours helicopter accident

Further details have now emerged about the helicopter accident on Saturday evening at Magny-Cours. An Alouette helicopter, based in Paris, took off from the circuit at around 7.15pm. Onboard was the pilot and four passengers who were flying to Chateau les Granges, near Suilly-la-Tour, about 30 miles to the north of the circuit.

The helicopter failed to arrive at its destination and the wreckage was later found in dense woodland near the village of Peteloup, which is about halfway to the chateau.

The pilot and two of the passenger were killed in the crash, two others suffered serious injuries. Among the passengers was Bridgestone's Director of Public Relations Nicolas Duquesne and his niece Chloe Daudier de Cassini. Both survived. Duquesne is being treated at the Centre Hospitalier Universitaire in Dijon.

The two passengers who were killed were Quiksilver representative Emmanuel Longobardi and New Zealander Simon MacGill.

The pilot Pierre Bennehard was also killed in the accident. Ironically, he had been a racing driver in the 1980s competing in Formula 3 for Ecurie Elf. He later competed in the Trophee Andros ice racing series.