The Miami Herald

Two South Florida men killed in a plane crash in France

Two South Florida men died in a plane crash in southern France, family members confirmed Saturday.

According to his son-in-law Marc Serota’s Facebook page, Dale Popik, a 60-year-old from Delray Beach, was the pilot of the Gulfstream G-IV that crashed while landing in Le Castellet, France, on Friday.

And 24-year-old Robert Helton, of Pembroke Pines, was the second man who died in the plane crash. Michael Helton, the father of the younger flight crew member, said that his son was part of a three-person flight crew on board a Gulfstream G-IV. Helton said that the family had little information and declined further comment.

Photos from the crash site display markings similar to a Gulfstream G-IV jet belonging to high-profile South Florida real estate developer Michael Dezer, who developed the Trump Towers in Sunny Isles Beach. Property records show that Dezer-owned company, Jetstar Aviation Services LLC, owns a Gulfstream G-IV.

French news reports identified the downed jet as having the registration number N823GA, which matches a plane owned by Jetstar Aviation Services. Attempts to contact the Dezer family for comment were not successful.

The Associated Press reported the crash on Friday evening, releasing photos of the plane crash. The three member crew also included a 30-year-old woman. Her identity has not been released.

In a statement Saturday, Universal Jet Aviation, a Boca Raton-based aviation company, confirmed that the private jet was part of its fleet. The company said there were no passengers on board. “Our focus at this time is on supporting the families of our crew,” a spokesperson for the company said. The crash is under investigation.




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