Rotorcraft Update: Beloved French baker killed in helo crash

 - May 9, 2008, 7:00 AM

French baking baron Lionel Poilane was killed November 7 when the Agusta 109C he was piloting crashed into the sea off Brittany, France’s northwestern coast. The helicopter was reported missing when it apparently went down in heavy fog while Poilane was attempting to land on Rimains, his private island. Poilane’s body was recovered shortly after the accident, while that of his wife was not. In a nation that takes bread making very seriously, Poilane’s loss was widely mourned–his stores thronged with bereaved customers and his death cited by French prime minister Jean-Pierre Raffarin, who saluted Poilane as “an indefatigable militant of quality. Famous for his traditional products that enchanted tables around the world, the bread maker Lionel Poilane was above all a passionate humanist who contributed to giving France the image of a country enamored with the value of the authentic.”