A French pilot has been sentenced after he decapitated a skydiver with the wing of a plane.
Forty-year-old Nicolas Galy was struck by the wing just moments after he jumped from the plane over Bouloc-en-Quercy near Toulouse on 27 July, 2018.
Galy was one of ten parachutists on the flight, it was reported, and was wearing a ‘wingsuit’ - a specially designed jumpsuit with webbed areas.
He was ‘killed instantly’ after he collided with the wing.
In a court hearing earlier this year, the pilot, who has not been named, said the incident was ‘the tragedy of my life’ but had insisted he had not done anything wrong.
According to a report in Le Parisien, Galy - an aeronautical engineer - was hit at an altitude of 4,000 m. Immediately after he jumped from the plane, the pilot began the plane's descent towards the aerodrome.
Prior to him jumping from the plane, there had been no consultation on the trajectory the plane would take once Galy had exited it, Le Parisien reported.
Despite this, the pilot said Galy ‘did not follow the expected course and never should have been on that course’.
He added: “He was parallel to the plane... 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.”
He also claimed he hadn’t seen the wingsuiters and thought he was clear of them.
He said: "Compared with parachutists who are in free fall, it’s more complicated with the wingsuiters who go more in a straight line.
"They don’t descend much and can be in conflict with the aircraft."
Prosecutor Jeanne Regagnon, however, said Galy was the one who had been in the right.
"The victim was the only one who obeyed the rules without negligence," she said.
The pilot was charged with involuntary manslaughter and was found guilty at Montauban criminal court yesterday (21 November), where he was given a 12-month suspended sentence. He was also banned from flying.
In a hearing earlier this year, a lawyer speaking on behalf of the victim’s loved ones said there had been ‘a lot of recklessness or negligence’.
The pilot’s employer The Midi-Pyrénées Skydiving School Association was given a €20,000 fine - half of which was suspended.Featured Image Credit: Getty Stock Photos
Topics: World News