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In 2013, Faid blasted his way out of prison with explosives concealed in tissue packs.

Three accomplices, who reportedly had Kalashnikovs, extracted Redoine Faïd from the Seine-et-Marne prison on Sunday.

But as he approached his R44 Robinson helicopter, which he planned to take the pair out in, the two men told him they would prefer to fly the Alouette II, which was slightly larger.

Redoine Faid, 46, who previously said his life of crime was inspired by films such as Scarface.

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.

PHOTO: This picture taken on July 1, 2018 in Aulnay-sous-Bois, shows a forensic police officer investigating a vehicle abandoned by French armed robber Redoine Faid at O'Parinor shopping mall parking after his escape onboard a helicopter from a prison.

The whole operation, which lasted just 10 minutes, was well planned with a smooth conclusion in the form of a helicopter escape, Delabroye said. He was supposed to be serving a 25-year long sentence.

Staying on the run will become increasingly expensive for Faid as he tries to avoid capture, but authorities said they have no clear sense of how much money the serial robber of banks and armored trucks had stashed away from his previous crimes.

"It's a completely exceptional escape that clearly required a very well-prepared commando group given there was a helicopter, three people and an instructor taken hostage", she added.

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The 2010 robbery that he was imprisoned for involved the shooting of a female police officer.

She was shot as the gang fled and used Kalashnikov assault rifles to fire at police cars pursuing them along the busy A4 motorway.

He was questioned by the police before being released in a state of shock.

They landed in the only courtyard at Réau that doesn't have anti-aircraft nets.

Faid's brother is being questioned by investigators.

Faid, who has a cult following in the tough multi-ethnic suburbs outside Paris where he grew up, has made several television appearances.

Faid has broken out of jail before.

Faid was sentenced to 25 years for his role as the suspected mastermind of an attempted armed robbery that led to the 2010 death of 26-year-old policewoman Aurelie Fouquet, who was killed in a shootout, according to the Associated Press.