Chinese Billionaire & Son Killed in France Helicopter Crash

Chinese billionaire and vineyard owner celebrating the sale

From Phoenix Online:

Rich Chinese Businessman Dies With Son During Helicopter Tour of Newly-Acquired French Vineyard

\Original title: Hong Kong Resident and Rich Mainland Businessman Hao Lin Involved in Crash During Helicopter Tour of Chateau in France

ChinaNews December 21 report — According to a report on Hong Kong’s Ming Pao website, after Hong Kong resident and rich mainland businessman Hao Lin [Lam Kok] purchased a winery in France, he and his son were on a helicopter tour when it crashed, with both of them missing, and one body recovered on the scene. (Editor’s note: According to AFP reports, the two have perished.)

According to the report, the incident happened on the 20th, and the local government has dispatched a helicopter, rubber dinghy, divers and about one hundred people to search the [crash] site, and they have dredged up one corpse from the helicopter wreckage in the River Dordogne, but whose identity is unknown. The search and rescue work has been suspended due to the dark, and will continue again on the 21st. The Chinese embassy in France claimed the French authorities are rescuing and salvaging overnight.

Police are searching dead bodies

AFP reports the helicopter was piloted by James Gregoire, the former owner and thus seller of the chateau, carrying 46-year-old Yunnan Brilliant Group CEO Hao Lin, Hao Lin’s 12-year-old son, and a translator.

Shortly before the incident, Hao Lin had just represented the Brilliant Group in completing the acquisition of the vineyard, and had held a celebration party as well as a press conference.

According to reports, this acquisition by the Brilliant Group is of Chateau de la Riviere, a famous historic local winery. It is said that this is the largest Chinese acquisition in Bordeaux.

Bordeaux chateau the Chinese billionaire bought

Bordeaux chateau the Chinese billionaire bought

Chinese billionaire and vineyard owner celebrating the sale

Chinese billionaire and vineyard owner celebrating the sale

Chinese billionaire and vineyard owner celebrating the sale

Chinese billionaire and vineyard owner celebrating the sale

An AFP photographer who participated in the press conference said Hao Lin had introduced the acquisition plan a little earlier on the 20th, that his corporate team had dinner with the former chateau owner James Gregoire and associates.

After dinner, Gregoire intended to take Hao Lin aboard a helicopter to tour the 65 hectare vineyard. Hao Lin and his son boarded the helicopter, while his wife and Brilliant Group Chairman Liu Xiangyun pulled out at the last minute saying she was “scared of helicopters”.

Chinese billionaire and vineyard owner celebrating the sale

Chinese billionaire and his wife

Chinese billionaire and his wife at the vineyard

Chateau staff found that they had not returned after 20 minutes, and so called the police. Authorities soon afterwards confirmed that the helicopter had crashed into the River Dordogne, and launched a search and rescue.

The AFP reporter said Gregoire had performed a routine take-off inspection before the incident.

China’s embassy in France said the embassy director is already leading a team to the scene to handle the accident. The China Hong Kong Immigration Department on the 21st also indicated that they have received the relevant assistance, and learned that the embassy has already got in touch with the family members.

Police are searching dead bodies

Comments from Phoenix Online (1 & 2):

凤凰网新浪微博网友:回头一看离岸已远

Sometimes having too much money is not a good thing.

凤凰网北京市网友:手机用户

May they rest in peace then, though I still hope some money will be donated to those children who can’t afford to go to school.

凤凰网吉林省长春市网友:tablecool

This is why reading more books [studying] and being familiar with the local customs is very important. you don’t even know this manor has this big of a secret?

凤凰网内蒙古呼伦贝尔市网友:天堂草原111

Dead, and haven’t even finished spending all the money.

凤凰网福建省厦门市网友:凤凰网友

May the dead rest in peace. “Condolences to the family”, be strong, God loves you.

凤凰网上海市长宁区网友:sjg1965

The chateau’s ancestors express their objection [to the sale/acquisition].

凤凰网湖北省荆州市网友:风铃上的露珠

No matter how much money they have, they no longer have a life to spend it. Life is fickle.

凤凰网新浪微博网友:Q49是358720476

Life is too fragile, so we should cherish the present and be happy everyday!

凤凰网福建省泉州市网友:木易行者

Some good things cannot be bought with money, and some things that can be bought with money are not necessary good things.

凤凰网新浪微博网友:不再犹豫再见理想光辉岁月

Never mind the erotic hot spring they build in Jinyun Temple, just their investment of 250 million RMB into the French chateau alone, do they not know how many people in Kunming are still struggling to have enough food and clothing? Could they not have invested in Kunming? Prices in Kunming are currently amongst the highest in the nation, while wages are amongst the lowest. Private supermarkets have all been squeezed into bankruptcy by foreign supermarkets, while the wages given by foreign supermarkets in Kunming are considered the world’s lowest. Sigh, those who have gotten rich first [referring to Deng Xiaoping's famous words that some must get rich before others].

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  • Cauffiel

    First world problems.

    • lonetrey / Dan

      I’m pretty sure Death isn’t a first world problem….

      • Cauffiel

        Crashing your helicopter in newly purchased private vineyard is.

        • http://www.youtube.com/user/VictimOfBoredom Matt

          I live in the first world. Where’s my helicopter…

          • Cauffiel

            Haha. No, my friend. You live in the 2nd world portion of the first world. KNOW YOUR PLACE. :-D

        • Chin_Key

          Thats a 3rd world problem manifesting itself in the 1st world. Also know as a Yellow Man Problem.

      • Cauffiel

        Maybe you’re confused….. “First world problems” is an internet meme device whereby people share problems that aren’t really problems when compared to the subsistence lifestyles of the 3rd world. http://first-world-problems.com/

        • Guang Xiang

          Well, death does seem like a pretty big problem in this case.

        • Claude

          My all-time favorite first-world problem: I can’t sleep naked in my new sheets because the thread count is so high they give me an erection.

        • lonetrey / Dan

          Hahaha, I know, I know. I was just messing around a little :P

  • David

    I read about this on the news a few days ago. All I could think of was the poor wife who, while making a great personal choice, has just lost her husband and her son.

    • ponquenet

      We’ll see how quickly she makes a recovery now that she has ALL the money

      • David

        Well, I did not want to go there because she lost her son but yea, I know the husband is plenty replaceable. Maybe she can get a boy toy to take her mind off the pain for a bit.

        • Chin_Key

          Maybe she can get a boy toy

          Boy toy? or Toyboy? Two very different things..

      • Dr Sun

        show some friggin respect boy, she just lost her husband and son.

    • Chin_Key

      The poor wife? She isn’t poor. She is very, very rich. Husband? Son? A billion dollar lottery. Pain? Ask her. She will look at you like you are deranged.

      • Dr Sun

        are you talking about the wife of the vineyard seller, shes very…very rich now.

  • UserID01

    I, too, am terrified of helicopter rides. You hear of things going wrong way more often in helicopter tours than you do of commercial aircraft mishaps. That poor wife and mother, left widowed and without her child, I feel so badly for her. At the last moment she refuse to go on the helicopter and it saved her life. I can’t imagine the pain she’s going through right now.

    • Terrik

      That and hot air balloon rides. I was psyched to go on a ride out in Yangshuo a couple years back. Go out to the site, but it was a little too windy–but one of the balloons went up anyhow. The balloon ended up falling out of the sky and several bones were broken. A week or so later, that same balloon company had another accident and two people were killed. I don’t feel so bad about missing that balloon flight anymore.

      • Chin_Key

        Well that wouldn’t be a problem with chinese tourists. They fart so much that their gasses will keep that ballon in full flight. Until one of them lights a cigarette that is.

    • wafflestomp

      pain? now all the money is hers, she can finally marry for love!

      • Chin_Key

        Now she doesn’t HAVE to get married.

  • Rick in China

    Wow. They don’t even mention the seller of the vineyard – the pilot – amongst the victims in this translation? wtf?

    • nqk123

      i noticed this happened on some past articles too.

    • Alex Dương

      Did you miss this?

      “AFP reports the helicopter was piloted by James Gregoire, the former owner and thus seller of the chateau, carrying 46-year-old Yunnan Brilliant Group CEO Hao Lin, Hao Lin’s 12-year-old son, and a translator.”

  • YourSupremeCommander

    The biggets question is did the seller / pilot die as well?

    • David

      Yes he did. Although some what unclear here, the non-Chinese articles made it very clear that he also died.

  • wotingbudong

    aren’t these guys the same couple who half destroyed a 300 year old temple to build a spa on the mainland? Karma?

    • moldavidian

      Good questions. I’d also like to know.

    • Chin_Key

      The same couple.

  • YourSupremeCommander

    The wife backing out at the last second… I would call this dude for sure.

  • MidniteOwl

    … And the world could care less. But do good things, exceptional things, then you forever lie in people’s memories… or at least on a plaque saying you donated money to the local hospital…

  • Groucho Lennon

    I read the news today oh, boy
    About a lucky man who made the grade
    And though the news was rather sad
    Well, I just had to laugh
    I saw the photograph

  • A Gawd Dang Mongolian

    Well not by you but then you weren’t strapped to a helicopter about to crash and slice you into deli meat.

  • Freddi BuBu

    Looks like a win-win for the wife – she wisely declined the ride out of fear and now has billions at her disposal. Anyone know her number……? : p

  • Boris_Da_Bengal_Tiger

    “they teach us to bail out of a copter if over moving water (calm water can be like concrete on impact, but still better if not too high).”

    Didn’t know that about calm water…so water moving about is ok but if it is calm and flat, you’d go splat?

  • Andre Leonard

    Prayers to his wife and family left behind. It’s said that life is but a season. We never know when the season will end..

    • Ryo Saeba

      You don’t need prayers when you have billions. She’ll just go out and spend a few hundred million and all will be forgotten by the end of the shopping spree.

    • Chin_Key

      Fuck that mate, they got what was coming to them. Neil Hayward. A life for a life.

      • Alex Dương

        And this guy is related to Hayward…how, exactly? If you want “eye for an eye”-type “justice,” that would apply if Bo Xilai died in a helicopter crash. And really, while we’re at it, Hayward was not innocent. He didn’t deserve to die, no, but he was not just a “British businessman.”

        • Chin_Key

          Just like this chinese idiot is not innocent. Where did all those billions come from? Give me a break. Its not how he’s connected, its just that it made me feel sooooo good to see one of china’s go down in a ball of flames after Neil Hayward was murdered by the chinese government.

          Sigh of pleasure. I’ll actually drink to this again. Cheers my dear fellow.

          • Alex Dương

            You have a warped view on life.

          • Chin_Key

            I least I have a view.

          • Alex Dương

            I applaud you for being honest about yourself.

          • Chin_Key

            I do my best. But I think you jumped the gun a little there dear fellow. I, in no manner or form accepted your projected opinion of my mindset. So keep the applause for a more opportune moment, its not so far away, i won’t keep you waiting. Oh by the way, well met again. Its Riddler here:-) Kai is on the warpath with me. He keeps banning me man! I couldn’t think of a reason as to why? The funny thing is? He makes a comment to me directly, and before i can reply he bans me, trying to win his arguments in such a cheap way. At least you back your arguments in a lucid manner which i accept and respect. Kai is just weak. He uses his role as MOD to create arguments with people and when it gets too hot, he makes a comment and bans that person before they can reply. Hey Kai, care to reply to this or you just going to ban me again? Man enough to admit this? Of course not.

          • Alex Dương

            Kai can speak for himself, but if I had to guess, it’s probably because your posts are Sinophobic garbage that contribute nothing but hate to the discussion.

          • Brad pitt

            Did you get bullied by Chinese or something? All your comments are just hateful bs… Where does this come from? Actually,don’t even answer… just stop posting you give all other foreigners a bad name

  • The Enlightened One

    Depends on the copter and yes I am aware of all this. There are tons of variables but if you get the chance to hop out of a helicopter going down over a river, I would take it.

    Nobody ever thinks or wants a helicopter to go down, I am not arguing against human nature. I am saying that your chances of survival are higher if you jump out of a copter over water (if possible and you are a good swimmer) rather than staying in it when you crash.

    Here is a pic of another civiallian copter with a rich Chinese couple getting married, it has silding side panels: http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/bizchina/2013-01/17/content_16133977_2.htm

  • wotingbudong

    I just have to say, Rick In China is the most annoying, condescending know-it-all on this forum, who the hell are you Rick and why are you so superior in your tone? This site sucks balls, full of incestuous mid-Atlantic douches. Vaffanculo, wankers

    • chandlerpatrick

      Hahaha. Funny. Agreed…
      But the two of them calling helicopters “copters” took the cake…

  • chandlerpatrick

    Ok… The water is still more accepting than the alternative… Despite what you might think, people are not oblivious to these things… I’d rather (if able to react fast enough) hit the water on my own terms, than hit it on the helicopter’s… Either way you’re still fucked! It’s not like someone who survives something like that goes and says; “Yea, it’s because I’m so great, and so experienced in these types of things, that I was able to use my skills to make it out alive”… No, you were fucked, and if you managed to live, you were LUCKY!

  • Chin_Key

    Thats a chinese woman’s dream. Billionaire husband. Husband kicks the bucket. I bet there were millions of ‘sighs’ all around china when women heard this. “if only it were me.”

    • Zappa Frank

      Wasn’t her son the 12 years old boy dead?

      • Chin_Key

        Yes but as I know chinese women? A few billion over a son and husband? If they were offered that money they would throttle both father and son if they were sure they’d get away with it. They are ruthless. There’s no denying that. A generalisation because it is generally true.

  • Chin_Key

    “They crashed into the river… it it was me, I would have jumped out the of the helicopter asit was going down over the river.”

    I agree with everything you have said but there is one problem you may have overlooked:

    Chinese can’t swim:-)

  • Chin_Key

    Ah well, this is rather good news actually. A certain Neil Hayward comes to mind. Justice paid in full coin. Would be even better if it was neatly arranged by the UK.

  • Chin_Key

    How many times have I told chinese people about their driving skills or lack of. You can’t treat a helicopter like a car, not same thing!

  • Chin_Key

    Helicopters for the newly rich are also know as Yellow People Problems.

  • Chin_Key

    Horror? That is a chinese woman’s dream! How dare you deny her the the delight in her most fervent prayers? Right now she is partying like mad while you sit here pretending to give a fuck. Get real dude!

  • Chin_Key

    “China’s embassy in France said the embassy director is already leading a team to the scene to handle the accident. ”

    China ‘handle’ the accident? What are they going to handle? Its the french police and other rescue services who are handling the accident. Why does china love to pretend it walks in a takes over? The most the chinese can do is go and peer at the water. From a safe distance. Because they can’t swim.

  • Zappa Frank

    Actually Chinese are learning how to produce good wine, some are not so bad…in this case their just going to be the owners, not that their produce it with their hands…but sincerely I don’t understand their will to copy other peoples habits and cultures…do Chinese people in their lives still have something that is really Chinese ?

    • Chin_Key

      do Chinese people in their lives still have something that is really Chinese ?

      Well they do have bad manners.

      Edit: Extremely bad manners.

      • Zappa Frank

        Haha…true. Unless you have some connections with them they are really rude also.

        • Chin_Key

          Wow, between the two of us we are actually helping the chinese here to glow in the warm knowledge that some of their culture is indeed intact!

        • Chin_Key

          Another thing, look at the bright side of this story, at least the husband didn’t have to leap to his death from the top floor of a shopping mall because the lady was spending too much.

        • Chin_Key

          http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-25518166

          Cant wait for this to get posted here. Japanese Prime Minister visits Yakasuni Shrine. China is crying like a baby throwing toys out of the pram.

          • Alex Dương

            You do realize that Yasukuni honors convicted war criminals and that South Korea and Taiwan also protested, if not more strongly than China did?

          • Chin_Key

            Who gives a fuck? Its Japan. Their country. Their Prime Minister. He can go where the fuck he likes in his own country.

            That shrine has a handful of war criminals enshrined but millions of innocent civilians too.

            Japan has tried the path of pacifism, humility and appeasement for nearly 70 years. What has it got them? Scorn, contempt and derision from China. A Prime Minister who can’t even visit their own war memorial.

            The solution for Japan is clear. Only through large scale re-militarisation will their own security be maintained and Chinese adventurism be deterred.

          • Alex Dương

            Good question. Who gives a fuck? The Emperor of Japan does. He hasn’t visited the shrine once since becoming Emperor in 1989. His father stopped visiting after 1978.

            Isn’t it ironic that the nominal “highest authority” in Shinto refuses to visit one of the most famous Shinto shrines?

          • Chin_Key

            A nod and a wink to the Prime Minister from the Emperor. Fact is, china is pissed off but can’t do shit about it. China really is losing this chess game. Lots of bluster from china. Japan remains calm. Japan has been outsmarting china at every move and all china can do is talk.

          • Alex Dương

            Um, OK. Let’s assume your claim is true: the Emperor is tacitly approving Abe’s visit. Why does it have to be tacit? Why doesn’t he just visit the shrine himself? I mean, according to you, China “can’t do shit about it.” So why doesn’t Emperor Akihito, the “highest authority” in Shinto, visit Yasukuni?

          • Chin_Key

            Why would he need to when he has a PM to do it? I mean what would you be doing if you were Emperor? Running around shrines or getting some hottie stroking your shrine? Well? Which would it be?

          • Alex Dương

            Your comments are quickly becoming incoherent.

            1. Why should he delegate visits to the nation’s highest elected official when he’s nominally the “highest authority” within Shinto?

            2. If I were a figurehead monarch who was nominally the “highest authority” of a religion, I’d probably patronize shrines that pertained to that religion.

            3. You think Abe is a “hottie”?

            In any case, it’s obvious you can’t answer why Emperor Akihito doesn’t visit Yasukuni. He’s filial enough to honor his late father’s wishes that the shrine be boycotted so long as war criminals are enshrined there. It’s ironic that you, a netouyo, disobey your own Emperor.

          • Chin_Key

            3. You think Abe is a “hottie”?

            HAHAHAHAHAH!!!!!

  • mai lin

    R.I.P poor mom

    • Chin_Key

      ‘R.I.P poor mom’

      Poor mom? No. VERY rich mum:-)

  • A Gawd Dang Mongolian

    Sometimes. Sometimes it filets you, or dices you. End result is always the same: your remains are an unidentifiable pile of meat.

  • Dr Sun

    racist often ?

  • Dr Sun

    What a tragedy to all involved, RIP, and condolences to the families.

  • Dr Sun

    what does this video have to with this story ?

  • http://thinsiqnificant.wordpress.com/ alice.

    Dead, and haven’t even finished spending all the money

    Damn .

  • jonny

    fuck you rick

    • Rick in China

      Unfortunately, your mother beat you to it?

      • jonny

        wow mother jokes. original.

        • Rick in China

          As original as your unsubstantiated, random, 7-month-drudged-up “fuck you” ridiculousness, ‘jonny’.

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