Bell 407 helicopter accident: Wealthy British tourist, 22, killed when he walked into rotor blade


A wealthy young Briton horrifically killed in a helicopter accident in Athens may have been trying to take a selfie when he was struck by the aircraft’s tail rotor, Greek media have reported.

Former public schoolboy Jack Fenton, 22, was said to have been using his mobile phone at the time of the accident last night on a private helipad near the Greek capital.

The Oxford Brookes university student, who went to the £36,000-a-year Sutton Valence boarding school in Maidstone, Kent, reportedly walked behind the Bell 407 helicopter while its engines were still engaged at 6.20pm yesterday.

Emergency services were called to the private heliport on the outskirts of Athens but the victim is thought to have been killed almost instantly by the high-speed rotor.

Investigators are probing the circumstances of the accident but the pilot could face manslaughter charges if he told the passengers to exit the helicopter before the engine and propellers had stopped.

Former public schoolboy Jack Fenton (pictured), 22, was said to have been using his mobile phone at the time of the accident last night

The young Briton horrifically killed in a helicopter accident in Athens may have been trying to take a selfie

The young Briton horrifically killed in a helicopter accident in Athens may have been trying to take a selfie 

Jack Fenton's father, Miguel, is head of marketing, sales and PR at The Hop Farm, a 400-acre country park and visitor attraction in Beltring, near Tonbridge, Kent (pictured together)

Jack Fenton’s father, Miguel, is head of marketing, sales and PR at The Hop Farm, a 400-acre country park and visitor attraction in Beltring, near Tonbridge, Kent (pictured together)

The Oxford Brookes university student, who went to the £36,000-a-year Sutton Valence boarding school in Maidstone, Kent, reportedly walked behind the Bell 407 helicopter while its engines were still engaged

The Oxford Brookes university student, who went to the £36,000-a-year Sutton Valence boarding school in Maidstone, Kent, reportedly walked behind the Bell 407 helicopter while its engines were still engaged

Emergency services are pictured last night at the scene of the incident involving a man who died when a rear helicopter propeller hit him in Spata, near Athens, Greece

Emergency services are pictured last night at the scene of the incident involving a man who died when a rear helicopter propeller hit him in Spata, near Athens, Greece

The man reportedly walked behind the Bell 407 helicopter while its engines were still engaged and was struck by the aircraft's tail rotor

The man reportedly walked behind the Bell 407 helicopter while its engines were still engaged and was struck by the aircraft’s tail rotor

The tourists had flown from Mykonos to the helipad in Spata and were due to take a private limousine to Eleftherios Venizelos airport

The tourists had flown from Mykonos to the helipad in Spata and were due to take a private limousine to Eleftherios Venizelos airport

Athens-based Open TV reported that It is possible that the victim ‘was on a call or was trying to take a selfie when the accident happened.’

His parents were following in a second helicopter on a private charter from Mykonos to Athens as the group made their way home to the UK after a holiday.

Previous reports suggested a sibling saw the tragedy unfold but it is now believed the Briton was travelling with friends. 

The family had intended to disembark at the Superior Air helipad before being chauffeured to Eleftherios Venizelos airport where they would board the family’s private jet for a return flight to the UK. 

Jack Fenton’s father, Miguel, is head of marketing, sales and PR at The Hop Farm, a 400-acre country park and visitor attraction in Beltring, near Tonbridge, Kent.

A spokesperson at the Hop Farm told MailOnline: ‘This is a personal matter, nothing to do with the business and we have no comment.’

Until 1997 the farm was known as The Whitbread Hop Farm and was owned by the brewery and boasts the largest collection of oast houses in the world..

Police and aircraft investigators will focus on why he exited the aircraft while the rotors were still spinning.

Police sources did not reveal the family involved but it is understood they are extremely wealthy (police and emergency services are pictured at the scene last night)

Police sources did not reveal the family involved but it is understood they are extremely wealthy (police and emergency services are pictured at the scene last night)

Emergency services were called to the private heliport on the outskirts of Athens but the victim is thought to have been killed almost instantly (pictured: the scene today)

Emergency services were called to the private heliport on the outskirts of Athens but the victim is thought to have been killed almost instantly (pictured: the scene today)

The propellers tend to continue for around two minutes after the engine has been switched off, unless the pilot presses a button to stop them at around 50 seconds.

Pilots should thoroughly brief their passengers to stay inside until all movement has ceased, but the helicopter has no locks and no crew other than the pilot to shepherd the passengers.

The pilot has been arrested on manslaughter charges and two ground technicians have also been held by police while investigators probe the circumstances of the accident. 

The President of the Union of Police Officers of Southeast Attica George Kaliakmanis told MailOnline: ‘To my knowledge the type of helicopter Bell 407 doesn’t lock from the inside.

They were due to board a private limousine which would chauffeur them towards the family's private jet (pictured: the scene at the helipad today)

They were due to board a private limousine which would chauffeur them towards the family’s private jet (pictured: the scene at the helipad today)

Police sources did not reveal the family involved but it is understood they are extremely wealthy and were enjoying a holiday on the luxury Greek island of Mykonos (pictured)

Police sources did not reveal the family involved but it is understood they are extremely wealthy and were enjoying a holiday on the luxury Greek island of Mykonos (pictured)

‘So now the investigation will focus on the safety measures taken from the pilot. Did he tell them to wait or not?

‘There are two propellers on the helicopter. One that operates on 500 turns/second and one that operates at 2500 turns/second. These propellers run for about 2 minutes from the time he turns the engine off unless he presses a button which stops them at 50 seconds. Also keep in mind that the propellers are not visible because of the speed.’

Immediately after the incident the pilot told his colleague in the second helicopter, in which the boy’s parents were aboard, diverted, without landing at the heliport in Spata, so that they were spared the horrific sight and landed at El. Venizelos airport.

Sources said the 115-mile trip in two helicopters would have cost more than £15,000. 

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk