Pilot facing manslaughter conviction after wingsuit skydiver gets decapitated by propeller

MONTAUBAN, FRANCE – A veteran wingsuit skydiver met a tragic end in July 2018 when he was struck by an airplane wing shortly after jumping from the aircraft over southern France. The incident, which occurred 20 seconds post-jump, resulted in the decapitation of the skydiver, Nicholas Galy, who had over 225 jumps to his credit.

The incident came to light during the manslaughter trial of the pilot, identified as 64-year-old Alain C, held this week in Montauban, France. Galy, 40, was one of two skydivers who leaped from a single-engine Pilatus airplane at approximately 14,000 feet above Bouloc-en-Quercy.

After the two wingsuit-clad skydivers exited the aircraft, Alain C descended rapidly, catching up to them as they glided through the sky. However, as the plane approached the skydivers, its left wing struck Galy, resulting in his decapitation. Galy’s body was later found in a field, his emergency parachute having been deployed.

Alain C has since been charged with manslaughter, with prosecutors arguing that his mistakes led to the fatal incident. Alain C, however, has maintained his innocence throughout the trial, arguing that Galy deviated from the expected course and should not have been in the plane’s path. He also admitted to not briefing the skydivers about the jump and losing track of them after they jumped.

Further testimony revealed that Alain C was operating the aircraft with an expired license, having violated restrictions due to a medical condition. The prosecutor, Jeanne Regagngon, argued that Galy was the only one who followed the rules without negligence that day. She has requested a 12-month suspended sentence for the pilot and a minimum fine of $10,000 for his employer.