York: Daredevil millionaire took hand off wheel at 244mph and died

Zef Eisenberg, 47, died as a result of his injuries during the crash (Picture: PA)

An entrepreneur crashed his supercar at 244mph while he tried to deploy a parachute, an inquest has heard.

Zef Eisenberg, 47, had been attempting to prove he had created the world’s fastest Porsche and achieve a record ‘flying mile’.

He died at Elvington Airfield near York on October 1, 2020.

The Porsche 911 Turbo went airborne and travelled 500 metres before it came to a stop.

Mr Eisenberg suffered ‘multiple traumatic injuries’ and coroner Jon Heath recorded a conclusion of misadventure.

He did so after hearing the millionaire wrongly braked then deployed the parachute, making the car unstable and causing it to take off.

Mr Eisenberg had asked for the parachute to be fitted as part of his own bespoke design, the inquest heard.

The entrepreneur had to take his left hand off the steering wheel of the modified vehicle – which was legal to drive on the road – to use a lever to deploy the parachute.

Jamie Champkin from Motorsport UK – the organisation which gave Mr Eisenberg the permit to take on the challenge – said the car hit the ground nose first.

He told the inquest: ‘The car became airborne very quickly, it travelled 513 metres before coming to a rest.

During the run, the car went airborne and Mr Eisenberg suffered fatal injuries (Picture: PA)

‘The minute it is in the air, there’s no friction, apart from air friction, to restrain its speed in any way.’

He added: ‘Our estimates were it was probably still doing 150mph, maybe 250mph, but it hit the ground and our very basic calculations would suggest an impact force may be as high as 37,000lbs, or 218 times Mr Eisenberg’s body weight.

‘This incident was not survivable in that context.’

Mr Heath said he would make a report asking Motorsport UK to consider regulations about the strength of the chassis at which point harnesses are mounted – although this was not a factor in Mr Eisenberg’s death – in the hope of preventing future deaths.

Steve Gardner, who was collision investigator for North Yorkshire Police at the time, said an alternative way to deploy a parachute was to use a button mounted on the steering wheel, but that was not fitted to the vehicle.

‘The movement to deploy the parachute was quite substantial,’ the former traffic officer said.

Mr Eisenberg was a thrill seeker and loved motor vehicles (Picture: PA)

‘It was a lever that needed to be pushed forwards.’

Mr Gardner noted a minimal but noticeable twitch on the steering wheel seconds before Mr Eisenberg lost control.

The millionaire had carried out 10 runs of the airfield that day, with analysis of the vehicle finding no faults in the brakes, tyres or aerodynamics.

Relatives who joined the inquest remotely expressed concerns about whether he was strapped in correctly using a six-point harness, which was attached to the car in five places.

In 2016, thrill-seeker Mr Eisenberg survived Britain’s fastest motorcycle crash at the same airfield when his turbine-powered motorbike failed to stop at the end of the runway.

Despite surviving, he was forced to learn to walk again after breaking bones in his legs and pelvis.

The millionaire businessman made his fortune from north London, with the Maximuscle fitness brand of protein powder – which was later sold to pharmaceutical giant, GlaxoSmithKline – before moving to the island of Guernsey.

He presented the ITV show Speed Freaks focusing on the design, build and engineering of extreme cars.

Mr Eisenberg’s family paid tribute to him as a ‘true genius with unique talents’.

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