The pilot of a French military helicopter died, and his co-pilot was seriously injured, when their Gazelle crashed while on a training flight near the Ivory Coast city of Abidjan, the army said in a statement on Wednesday.
Rédoine Faïd, jailed for robbery in which a police officer died, was aided by armed men causing diversion outside prison while helicopter landed.
Agreement to buy the Airbus Caracal helicopters is part of a 2.5 billion euro package of deals that the two countries agreed in October 2015.
Libya's UN-recognised government demands explanation from Paris after deaths of three French troops near Benghazi showed a 'violation' of its sovereignty.
Four gendarmes, the pilot, co-pilot and two rescue specialists, were killed when the helicopter crashed into a cliff face in the Pyrénées.