FIVE DEATHS IN CRASH

MILITARY HELICOPTERS

Helicopters from the Army Light Aviation School (EALAT) crashed on Friday February 2 near the lake of Carcès in the Var.

The two helicopters from Cannet-des-Maures were participating in a combat training flight as part of the preparation of the pilots of the Army. The five experienced pilots were killed on the spot

In a terse statement from the Prefecture of Var it was read that

"The rescue found three dead bodies in a helicopter and two other victims in a second."

It's about "five army officers" in

"Flight training mission in the Var," said the Prime Minister in a statement.

There were three instructors, one of whom had over five thousand hours of flying time, and two trainee pilots.

The Minister of Armies, Florence Parly, went there in the afternoon.

All had brilliant careers and had fought at in operations abroad.

1 ° The married lieutenant Sébastien Grève and father of 4 was part of an elite regiment of the Army. Engaged in the military in 2009, he had obtained his pilot's license two years later.

He had participated in Operation Sangaris in the Central African Republic in 2014. In 2016, he was a Gazelle helicopter pilot and student pilot at the 4th RHFS in Pau.

2 ° François Mille, 35, from Dieppe (Seine-Maritime) joined the army in 2001. Between 2005 and 2010, François Mille served in Côte d'Ivoire and Afghanistan. With more than 3000 hours of flight, this recognized pilot has become a "monitor that is obvious to trainees" . Married, this captain leaves three orphaned children.

3 ° - Stéphane Chaon, 44 years old from Grenoble (Isère). had been in the army for 23 years.

This lieutenant-colonel had participated in the conflict in the former Yugoslavia in 1998 and then turned to training " helicopter reconnaissance attack" since 2003. Married, he leaves a girl.

4. Patrick Vasselin, 52, from Vitry-sur-Seine (Val-de-Marne) joined the army in 1985 and served in Saudi Arabia, Kosovo and Côte d'Ivoire. He was now doing training

. 5 ° Captain Quentin Gibert, 29, joined the army in 2007 to serve in Mali and Djibouti. This Gazelle helicopter specialist was a pilot student at the 4th RHFS de Pau. He was married.

The circumstances of the helicopter accident remain mysterious and an investigation was opened at the Marseilles public prosecutor's office and is conducted by the research section of the Gendarmerie de l'Air.

" The working hypothesis is that of a collision between the two aircraft," said the Prosecutor of Marseille Xavier Tarabeux alongside the Minister of Armies Florence Parly, while excluding a collision with a high-voltage line.

"One of the two [devices] dislocated and fell on the departmental road, the second, about 150 or 200 meters, burned," said on the spot the prefect of Var, Jean-Luc Videlaine, adding that "the causes of the accident [were] at the moment not identifiable".

Army General Jean-Pierre Bosser, Chief of Staff of the Army, presented his sincere condolences to the families while President Emmanuel Macron claims to have learned these deaths with "great emotion"

The Army has paid tribute to its seasoned helicopter pilots killed in the line of duty.

This is one of the most serious accidents in recent years in France.

Boby Dean for DayNewsWorld