Skydiver beheaded by aircraft seconds after he jumped from it; pilot faces trial

He admitted not briefing the parachutists and wingsuiters before the flight


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Image used for illustrative purpose.
Image used for illustrative purpose.

Published: Thu 21 Sep 2023, 8:32 PM

A skydiver was beheaded by the wing of an aircraft seconds after he jumped from it wearing a wingsuit in 2018. Now, the pilot is facing manslaughter charges for his involvement in the accident, according to media reports.

Nicolas Galy, 40, was among ten people on board the single-engine Pilatus aircraft that Alain C, 64, was flying in July 2018 over southwestern France. He and other parachutists jumped out of the aircraft at 14,000 feet to glide using the wingsuit. Just 20 seconds into his jump, Galy was hit by the aircraft’s left wing and beheaded due to the impact, reported the Daily Mail.

Following the mishap, pilot Alain was charged with manslaughter and put on trial in France. During the trial, Alain called the accident “the tragedy of my life” but stated that Nicolas “did not follow the expected course and never should have been on that course”, according to The Times.

“He (Nicolas Galy) was parallel to the plane, and I thought he was further north. It wasn’t my responsibility. I think my flight path made sense. This has been the tragedy of my life, but I am not at fault,” Alain, who worked for a local parachuting school, told the court, as per the report.

The prosecutor, Jeanne Regagnon, argued that Nicolas followed the flight procedures and was the only one “who obeyed the rules without any negligence”.

Alain admitted that he did not brief the parachutists and wingsuiters before the flight and also that he was flying the aircraft without a valid licence. The aviation authority of France had imposed some flying restrictions on him due to his medical condition, the report added.

Regagnon requested a 12-month suspended prison term for Alain and a fine of €10,000 (Dh 39,041) for the parachuting school.

The court will give its verdict in November.


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