Pilot on trial for manslaughter after wingsuit skydiver decapitated by plane

Wingsuit skydivers
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A pilot is on trial in France for manslaughter after a wingsuit skydiver was decapitated by the left wing of a plane that he was flying in 2018.  

Nicolas Galy, 40, an experienced skydiver, was one of 10 skydivers onboard a Pilatus aircraft when he leapt from the plane on July 27, 2018, above Bouloc-en-Quercy in France. 

According to The Times, around 20 seconds after Galy jumped from the aircraft the pilot, named Alain C, rapidly descended, and caught up with Galy and another wingsuit skydiver.  

The pair had already dropped 10,000 feet and had begun the process of gliding in their suits when Galy was fatally struck.  

Alain C, who worked for the local parachute school, confirmed in court that he had not briefed any of the 10 skydivers and had lost sight of the two wingsuit skydivers so assumed he was clear of them.  

Alain C claimed in court that Galy did not “follow the expected course” and that it had been the “tragedy of his life, but I am not at fault”. 

The prosecutor, Jeanne Regagnon, said Galy was the only one who “obeyed the rules without negligence”. 

The prosecution is requesting a 12-month suspended sentence for Alain C and a $10,000 fine for the parachute school.  

When the incident was investigated by the French aviation authorities it blamed the tragedy on a failure to brief the skydivers, the aircraft’s steep decent and lack of procedures used by the French Parachute Federation for wingsuit skydivers. 

The incident led to much stricter rules being brought in for wingsuit skydivers. The court’s verdict will be delivered in November 2023.  

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