Daniel Balavoine dead at 36: retrospective on his helicopter accident

This Friday, January 14, is the anniversary of the death of Daniel Balavoine. Died at 33 in 1986, he was a French celerity very appreciated by the public. He was going to join the Paris-Dakar by air transport because the fourteenth stage was taking place in Mali. Only a tragic accident will suddenly take his life… The French singer loved this rally. He had participated twice in 1983 and 1985. When he set off for Gourma-Rharous, he was with the creator of the Paris-Dakar, Thierry Sabine. The singer was not participating in the race, but he had to go to the scene for humanitarian aid.

[display-posts orderby="comment_count"]

The morning is busy for the interpreter of L’Aziza and Thierry Sabine. They meet at Niamey airport in order to leave for the city of Gao. The two men arrive at 10:30 am and have an exchange with the governor of Mali about the water pumps. The discussions are lively … The authorities decide to block the trucks of the humanitarian organization Paris du Cœur. Transporters cannot therefore travel to Mali. The hours go by, it is already 2 p.m.

The 33-year-old man and the creator of Paris-Dakar then kick off a football match between the Mopti team and that of Gao as part of the rally. Thierry Sabine’s white helicopter is started up, piloted by François-Xavier Bagnoud. However, the ceremony takes a long time because the governor has made the trip. Daniel Balavoine tries to continue negotiations …

The helicopter takes off around 4:10 p.m., towards the Gourma-Rharous bivouac, the end of the stage which is 250 kilometers away. On board is Journal du Dimanche journalist Nathalie Odent, RTL radio technician Jean-Paul Le Fur, Thierry Sabine. Jean-Luc Roy should also be in the helicopter but he leaves his place to Daniel Balavoine at the last moment. “We crossed paths with Daniel. He asked me if I didn’t mind taking my place in the chopper. We exchange a few more words and I close the door…”

The climatic conditions are becoming more and more dangerous. Night is approaching. It is 6 p.m. and the helicopter lands in Gossi. Despite the strong wind and the flight conditions which are less and less easy, the crew resumes its flight. Around 7 p.m., the pilot decided that it was not prudent to continue the journey and landed in the middle of the desert about twenty kilometers from the final destination. But the helicopter takes off again, and it is a mystery that persists … The disoriented machine collides several times in the top of a dune. Destabilized, the helicopter tipped forward and disintegrated over 150 meters after having made several loops. The entire crew loses their lives…

See also: Ary Abittan facing a huge problem: this huge amount of money that he will have to repay

Leave a Comment