Helicopter victim Jack Fenton was not trying to take selfie, Greek investigators admit

28 July 2022, 06:29 | Updated: 28 July 2022, 06:59

Jack Fenton was killed after being struck by a helicopter's tail rotor
Jack Fenton was killed after being struck by a helicopter's tail rotor. Picture: Athena Pictures/Facebook

By Asher McShane

Investigators in Greece have ruled out the possibility that helicopter victim Jack Fenton was trying to take a selfie when he died.

Police are investigating whether tragic Jack, 22, rushed back to the helicopter to retrieve his phone before being fatally struck by the helicopters spinning tail rotor.

Ioannis Kondylis, Chairman of Greece’s Accident Investigation and Flight Safety Committee, which is investigating the accident, revealed in an interview with local media: “From the testimonies we have collected, it does not appear from anywhere that the young man wanted to take a selfie but he found himself at the back of the helicopter.

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”What is reported is that the 22-year-old was holding a mobile phone and had it to his ear, but it has not yet been clarified whether he was talking or simply returning to join his friends.”

Investigators said Jack left the aircraft from the right door shortly after it landed but then returned to it, possibly to retrieve his phone. He is believed to have ducked under the tail of the craft but would not have seen the invisible, and lethal, tail rotor as it was spinning at up to 500 revolutions per second.

Mr Kondylis said: "The young man, according to the statements, had exited through the right door and did not head back to his seat. He went under the tail section of the helicopter and ended up on the left side where he was hit by the rotor, which at the speed it was turning was not visible."

Investigators are seeking witness accounts or video from other passengers waiting to board who may have seen the tragedy unfold.

Jack was killed instantly when he walked into the spinning tail blade as he disembarked the Bell 407 helicopter that had flown him and three friends from Mykonos to Spata, near Athens International Airport.

Yesterday Jack’s sister Daisy told the Telegraph: “It was his first time in a helicopter on a holiday with friends. His family and me are all here in the UK. We were told by the police. 

“He did not run round the back to take a selfie. No one knows why. It was dark, he was told nothing that he couldn’t go round the back. The pilots have no protocol. They also told them they could get out with the propellers still running.”

The helicopter’s pilot and two other people were arrested on Tuesday by Greek police, according to state media. They were later released.

Prosecutors will decide at a later date whether charges will be brought.