Pilot sentenced for decapitating skydiver in freak accident

FRANCE – The fatal accident involving a wingsuit skydiver and a pilot in Bouloc-en-Quercy, France, in July 2018 saw the pilot sentenced in a recent court ruling. The aviator, whose identity has not been publically revealed, received a 12-month suspended sentence after being found guilty of involuntary manslaughter. His charge also included operating an aircraft without having a valid pilot’s license. Alongside the suspension, he has been banned from flying any aircraft for one year.

The freak accident led to the untimely death of 40-year-old wingsuit skydiver Nicolas Galy. During the horrifying incident, the skydiver was beheaded by the plane that he jumped out of. During his dive, he collided with the plane’s wing and lost his life. The Midi-Pyrénées Skydiving School Association, the employer of the pilot, was fined 20,000 euros by the Montauban criminal court, with half the fine suspended.

Since the tragic incident, the skydiving school has made security measures stricter and made briefings mandatory. It was reported in court that the pilot had neglected to brief the skydivers before they embarked on the dive.

Although prosecutors argued that pilot error was the cause of Galy’s death, the pilot refuted any fault on his part. The pilot placed the blame on the victim for not maintaining the correct course during his dive. The pilot did, however, confess to flying with an invalid license.