A French pilot faces manslaughter charges after his plane decapitated a man flying in a wingsuit in France.
The horrific incident occurred in July 2018, when Alain C. was flying his single-engine Pilatus plane for a pair of wingsuit divers over Bouloc-en-Quercy, near Toulouse, where he worked for a local skydiving school.
Nicolas Galy, 40, was one of ten skydivers aboard the flight and one of two passengers who jumped from the plane at about 14,000 feet dressed in a sleek wingsuit, a full-body contraption that allows the wearer to glide like A bird.
But his thrilling flight ended in tragedy after just 20 seconds when he collided with the wing of Alain’s plane, ripping his head from his shoulders and killing him instantly.
In court in Montauban, Alain described the incident as “the tragedy of my life” but insisted he had done nothing wrong and blamed Galy for deviating from his flight plan, claiming he had behaved recklessly and suffered the consequences. .
Nicolas Galy, 40, jumped from the plane at about 14,000 feet wearing a sleek wingsuit, a full-body contraption that allows the wearer to glide like a bird (file image)
The pilot said he believed he was well clear of the wingsuit planes before beginning his descent, but admitted that “they don’t go down very far and can come into conflict with the plane.”
However, he insisted that Galy, an experienced skydiver with 226 jumps, ‘did not follow the expected course and should never have been on that course.’
“I was parallel to the plane… It was not my responsibility, I think my flight path made sense,” Alain told the court in comments published by The Times.
“This has been the tragedy of my life, but it’s not my fault.”
Alain’s allegations were refuted by prosecutor Jeanne Regagnon, who asked the court to impose a 12-month suspended prison sentence on the pilot and a fine of 10,000 euros, arguing that the murdered pilot was “the only one who obeyed the rules without negligence.” “.
It also emerged in court that Alain, 64, had piloted the plane with an invalid licence.
France’s aviation authority had restricted his flying privileges due to a medical condition, but he still took to the skies.
The court is scheduled to issue its ruling in November.
It comes after a British wingsuit pilot died in July after a 400-metre fall from a mountaintop in Italy.
Mark Andrews (pictured in the middle) with members of the base jumping group, Learn To Base Jump
Mark Andrews, 65, from Redruth, Cornwall, died instantly after falling down a rock face in Trentino while wearing a wingsuit.
He is believed to have been carrying a parachute, but apparently was unable to deploy it after losing control.
The tragic accident occurred at a popular base jumping location in the Italian Dolomites at Paganella, near the city of Trento.
Andrews was a big lover of base jumping and often posted clips of his escapades on social media.
The retired engineer is said to have come relatively late to base jumping as a sport, but had completed almost 600 jumps before his death.
A mountain rescue helicopter was brought in to recover his body and he was then airlifted to a nearby hospital before being repatriated.
A base jumper who knew Mark said: ‘He came to base jumping quite late. He’s only been doing it since 2014, but he’s accumulated a lot in those nine years.
“He was fearless and we will miss him.” He was a regular in Italy at various base jumping events, but he had also base jumped around the world from bridges and skyscrapers.‘