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Saturday 10 December 2016

Tycoon sells helicopter to F1 champion

NIAMH HORAN Exclusive

Published 18/04/2010 | 05:00

Millionaire tycoon Jim Mansfield is selling his helicopter to Formula One champion Jenson Button and planning to buy a bigger model.

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The Citywest hotel owns an Augusta 119 Puma and a Bell 206 Longranger.

He's now selling the Augusta chopper to the Grand Prix champion and says they are close to finalising the deal.

Mr Mansfield, who has owned helicopters for more than 25 years, says he's selling the helicopter to add a bigger one to his fleet.

"We're in the middle of doing a deal with Button to sell the single-engine chopper," said Mr Mansfield. "We're selling it because we need a twin engine and they're great value at the moment so it won't cost us any more. The time is right to buy."

Button, who is dating Japanese lingerie model Jessica Michibata, is in a prime position to snap up the aircraft after recently topping the list in Britain as the country's richest young sportsman.

The motoring hotshot managed to amass a €35m fortune despite not winning a single race in his first 112 attempts.

Since then a dramatic change of fortune brought him six chequered flags in the first half of last season.

His newfound wealth has introduced the motoring star to a playboy lifestyle, and once he signs off on the chopper he can add it to an impressive portfolio which includes a mansion in Surrey, apartments in Bahrain and Monte Carlo, a string of model girlfriends and an impressive fleet of flash cars.

High-profile Irish businessmen who have grounded their aircraft in recent times -- albeit for financial reasons -- include developer Bernard McNamara, former Renault boss Bill Cullen and former supermarket supremo turned gym boss Ben Dunne.

Sunday Independent

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