Redoine Faid was serving a long-term sentence at a prison south of Paris for armed robbery and the murder of a policewoman in 2010 after a heist that went wrong.
As soon as the gangster flew out of jail, a massive search was launched by the French National Police across greater Paris. In 2013, he used explosives hidden in tissue packs to escape another facility. He was on the run for 6 weeks before he was recaptured in a hotel room.
Faid, 46, has been serving a 25-year sentence for a failed robbery during which a police officer was killed.
Three armed and well-trained men then reportedly presented themselves and demanded Faid's release.
The helicopter that extracted Faid yesterday flew right across the Paris region from the jail to the south-east of the capital, before being dumped not far from Charles de Gaulle airport to the north-east of the city.
A union representative for the prison told French news channel BFM that "two men dressed in black, wearing balaclavas and police armbands" broke into the visiting room with a grinder.
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The three accomplices successfully helped Faid escape and later landed the aircraft 37 miles from the prison before setting it alight and fleeing in a black Renault vehicle.
Faid's brother was in custody on Monday. The pilot was later released with no physical injuries, according to AP.
Heavily armed men landed a helicopter in a courtyard, used a grinding machine to open the door of the visiting room where Faid was seeing his brother, and took the prisoner to freedom.
The BBC said Said headed a gang that took part in robbery and extortion schemes in Paris in the 1990s.
His fame has increased since then following appearances in several television shows and authoring books recounting his past and rise as a criminal in Paris' tough suburbs.
He spent years as an global fugitive before his capture, and then a decade in prison, and then wrote an autobiography after his release on parole in 2009. The 26-year-old was killed after a dramatic chase down the motorway in which the robbers fired AK47 rifles at police cars on a busy motorway. He was arrested in 2011. Faid was believed to have left by vehicle along with his accomplices.