A skydiver with more than 225 jumps under his belt was decapitated by a plane wing 20 seconds after jumping from the aircraft over southern France in July 2018, according to reports.
The Times of London was referring to testimony given during the pilot’s manslaughter trial, which took place in Montauban, France, this week.
The testimony provided showed that 40-year-old Nicholas Galy was one of a pair of paratroopers who jumped from about 14,000 feet above the town of Bouloc-en-Quercy from a single-engine Pilatus plane in July 2018.
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The plane’s pilot, identified only as 64-year-old Alain C, quickly descended after the two paratroopers in mobile suits evacuated the aircraft, catching up to them as they slid through the sky.
But as the plane caught up with the paratroopers, the left wing struck Ghali, decapitating him, the publication said.
Galli’s body landed in a field after he deployed his emergency parachute.
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Alain has since been charged with manslaughter and prosecutors allege his mistakes led to the beheading.
During the trial, Alain maintained that he did nothing wrong, adding that Galy “did not follow the expected path and should never have followed this path.”
The pilot later said he thought Galli was further south when it was actually parallel to the plane.
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“I think my flight path made sense,” Alain said. “This has been the tragedy of my life, but it’s not my fault.”
The pilot also said he did not inform the parachutists about the jump and acknowledged that he lost track of the wingsuit duo, assuming they were far away. He noted that wingsuit jumpers do not descend very far and may collide with the plane.
Testimony also indicated that Alain was operating an airplane with an invalid license after violating restrictions imposed by a medical condition.
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Prosecutor Jeanne Reggngon claimed during the trial that Galy “was the only one who obeyed the rules without negligence” that day and has since asked the court for a 12-month suspended sentence for the pilot, plus a fine of at least $10,000 for his employer.