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Billionaire Petr Kellner Dies in a Helicopter Crash That Took 5 of 6 Lives near Alaska Glacier

Lois Oladejo
Mar 30, 2021
11:10 P.M.

Czech billionaire Petr Kellner was among five victims who died over the weekend following a helicopter crash in the Alaskan mountains.


56-year-old Petr Kellner of the PPF group died on Saturday following a helicopter crash that claimed four other lives in the Alaskan mountains near Knik Glacier.

The Alaska State Troopers, aided by volunteers from the Alaska Mountain Rescue Group, recovered the victims' bodies, all of whom have been identified.

Two police men walking along the street | Photo: Pexels

Two police men walking along the street | Photo: Pexels



The Department of Public Safety, over the weekend, confirmed that the PPF co-founder, Kellner suffered fatal injuries in the crash. In a public statement issued by PPF, the company confirmed the news while expressing sadness over the loss, adding:

"His professional life was known for his incredible work ethic and creativity. But his private life belonged to his family."

The company implored the media to respect the family's privacy, especially during the funeral, which only close family and friends would be allowed to attend.



The billionaire, who is a majority shareholder in PPF, left behind his wife, Renata Kellnernova, 53, and their four children. Kellner and his wife co-founded the Educa Foundation, which they ran together until his death.

All six commuters were on a heliskiing adventure.

Renata also serves as the chairwoman of the board of directors of the Czech Equestrian Team. One of their children is the famous showjumper, Anna Kellnernova.



While troopers recorded five fatal victims in the helicopter crash, a sixth victim survived the accident. Officers identified him as 48-year-old David Horvath of the Czech Republic.

Horvath, who received transportation to an Anchorage area hospital, remains in stable but serious condition. The other fatal victims have also been identified, and their next of kin notified.


Their names are Gregory Harms, 52, of Colorado, Benjamin Larochaix, 50, of Czech Republic, Sean McManamy, 38, of Girdwood, and 33-year-old Zachary Russell from Anchorage, Alaska. All six commuters were on a heliskiing adventure before the accident.


The fatal helicopter crash in the Knick Glacier area comes a month after the Alaskan Department of Public Safety recorded another fatal accident in the state.


The incident, which took place in early February, claimed the lives of four passengers and a pilot in Southwest Alaska. The victims were discovered hours after the crash.

The Piper PA-32 plane, belonging to the Yute Commuter Service, was en route to Kipnuk from Bethel, Alaska, when the accident happened. No survivors were recorded.

With the alarming rate of aircraft accidents in the state, it is important for air travelers to adhere to all flight protocols before takeoff while avoiding air travel during inclement weather.

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