Wingsuit daredevil was decapitated by plane wing 20 seconds after jumping out of the
Wingsuit daredevil was decapitated by plane wing 20 seconds after jumping out of the aircraft when pilot assumed he was gliding in a different direction and dived down straight into him
- The tragic incident occurred in 2018 when the plane’s wing slammed into diver
- Pilot Alain C. is facing manslaughter charges in a court in southwestern France
A French pilot is facing manslaughter charges after his plane decapitated a man flying a wingsuit in France.
The horrific incident occurred in July 2018 when Alain C. was flying his single-engine Pilatus airplane for a pair of wingsuit divers over Bouloc-en-Quercy near Toulouse, where he worked for a local parachuting school.
Nicolas Galy, 40, was one of ten parachutists aboard the flight and one of two passengers who leapt out of the aircraft at around 14,000ft clad in a sleek wingsuit – a full-body contraption that lets the wearer glide like a bird.
But his exhilarating flight ended in tragedy after just 20 seconds when he collided with the wing of Alain’s plane, tearing his head clean off his shoulders and killing him instantly.
Facing a court in Montauban, Alain described the incident as ‘the tragedy of my life’, but insisted he had not done anything wrong and blamed Galy for deviating from his flight plan, claiming he had behaved recklessly and suffered the consequences.
Nicolas Galy, 40, dove out of the aircraft at around 14,000ft clad in a sleek wingsuit – a full-body contraption that lets the wearer glide like a bird (stock image)
The pilot said he believed he was well clear of the wingsuiters before beginning his descent, but admitted that they ‘don’t descend much and can be in conflict with the aircraft’.
However, he insisted that Galy, an experienced parachutist with 226 jumps, ‘did not follow the expected course and never should have been on that course.
‘He was parallel to the plane… It wasn’t my responsibility, I think my flight path made sense,’ Alain told the court in comments carried by The Times.
‘This has been the tragedy of my life but I am not at fault.’
Alain’s pleas were refuted by prosecutor Jeanne Regagnon, who asked the court to hand the pilot a 12-month suspended prison term and a 10,000 euro fine, arguing that the slain wingsuiter was ‘the only one who obeyed the rules without negligence’.
It also emerged in court that Alain, 64, had flown the plane with an invalid licence.
France’s aviation authority had restricted his flying privileges due to a medical condition, yet he took to the skies regardless.
The court is set to make its ruling in November.
It comes after a British wingsuit pilot died in July following a 400-metre drop from a mountaintop in Italy.
Mark Andrews (pictured middle) with members of base jumping group, Learn To Base Jump
Mark Andrews, 65, originally of Redruth, Cornwall, was killed instantly after falling down the rock face in Trentino while clad in a wingsuit.
He is thought to have been wearing a parachute, but was seemingly unable to deploy it after losing control.
The tragic accident occurred at a popular base jumping spot in the Italian Dolomites at Paganella, near the city of Trento.
Andrews was a keen lover of base jumping and often posted clips of his escapades on social media.
The retired engineer is said to have been a relative latecomer to base jumping as a sport, but had completed nearly 600 jumps before his death.
A mountain rescue helicopter was brought in to recover his body and he was later flown 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 packed a lot into those nine years.
‘He was fearless and will be missed. He was a regular in Italy at various base-jumping events, but had also base jumped all over the world off bridges and skyscrapers.‘