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26th Jul 2022

British tourist has been killed in freak helicopter tail accident while on family holiday in Greece

Kieran Galpin

Jack Fenton

The pilot is being held on manslaughter charges

A British tourist has been killed in a freak helicopter tail accident while on holiday with his family in Greece.

Jack Fenton, 22, was travelling back from Mykonos with a sibling when he walked around the back of a hired helicopter. Unfortunately, the Brit didn’t realise the helicopter’s rear propeller was spinning and was killed instantly.

Police have launched an official investigation, and the pilot of the Bell 407 helicopter has been taken into custody along with two ground technicians. The man’s parents were also on their way to Spata, but the pilot diverted the flight to Athens International Airport to prevent them from seeing his body.

Athens/Via Getty

“The pilot saw what had happened and decided to spare the parents the sight of their son – it was horrendous,” a source told The Sun. “He flew on to another helipad at Athens where the couple were consoled as it was confirmed that the young man was dead.”

They added: “The cause is being investigated but it remains unclear why this happened – or was allowed to happen when rotor blades pose such an obvious danger.”

A police source also told the outlet that this “unprecedented tragedy” should never have been able to happen.

Giorgos Kalliakmanis, head of the police union for southeastern Athens, said the investigation is looking to understand how the accident occurred and if correct safety procedures were followed. They also hope to understand whether the passengers were permitted to leave the helicopter before the blades had stopped spinning.

Via Facebook

The helicopter crew could face manslaughter charges if the investigation shows they did not follow the rules.

“We want to see if the pilot informed the passengers to get off the helicopter,” Kalliakmanis told the Greek news outlet Mega Channel. “These propellers run for about two minutes from the time he turns the engine off unless he presses a button which stops them at 50 seconds.”

He added: “The helicopter door has no security, anyone who wants to open the door and get out.

“The preliminary investigation will look at whether the pilot informed them to get out when the propeller and engines stopped.”

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