The pilot of the plane was decapitated in mid-flight


WingsuitThe pilot of the plane was decapitated in mid-flight

A 12-month suspended prison sentence was sought against a pilot working at a skydiving club in Darn-et-Garonne on Tuesday for beheading a 40-year-old man wearing a wingsuit in mid-air.

Wing wearing remains a dangerous practice.

On July 27, 2018, Nicholas Galley, an aeronautical engineer, was struck by the wing of a plane he had jumped from ten seconds earlier at an altitude of 4,000 meters.

Wingsuiting involves jumping in a vacuum in a jump suit with flexible wings before opening your parachute.

The pilot, an employee of the Midi-Pyrénées Parachuting School in Bouloc-en-Quercy (Tarn-et-Garonne), should not have flown that day as his health prevented him from flying solo, temporarily, according to an investigation by the Civil Aviation Accident Investigation Office (PEA).

Prosecuted for manslaughter at the Montauban Criminal Court, the 64-year-old pilot told the trial he thought his license was valid.

“gross carelessness or negligence”

Bouloc-en-Quercy Skydiving School is also being sued for safety violations in the case. The prosecutor requested a fine of 20,000 euros, including 10,000 suspended euros, against the association accused of not checking its employee’s license.

After the tragedy, security measures have been strengthened and become more stringent and explanations have become mandatory, underlines the head of the school, Isabelle Deschamps. He claims that the defendant, the club’s chief pilot, was himself responsible for checking the licenses of other pilots.

The civil party’s lawyer, Emmanuel Frank, denounces “a lot of recklessness or indifference”.

Lack of communication

Immediately after touching down, the pilot of the aircraft began descending towards the aerodrome tarmac. There is no advice before jumping into the path to follow.

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The president of the court pointed out that there was no contact between the victim and the pilot. For the public prosecutor, “the victim is the only one who obeyed the rules without being negligent”.

“This tragedy affects everyone and we share the pain of the victims. The procedure is very dangerous. When flying, we touch the human border,” pilot Elsa Correia said in Barbaris’ defense.


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