Daredevil decapitated by plane’s wing 20 seconds after jump due to pilot’s mistaken dive

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)

In July 2018, a tragic incident unfolded in Bouloc-en-Quercy near Toulouse, France, involving a French pilot named Alain C. and a wingsuit enthusiast, Nicolas Galy. Alain C. was operating a single-engine Pilatus airplane as part of his work with a local parachuting school, and Nicolas Galy was one of the parachutists on board, along with another wingsuit diver.

Tragically, just 20 seconds after their jump from the aircraft at an altitude of approximately 14,000 feet, Nicolas Galy collided with the airplane’s wing, resulting in his decapitation and instant death.

Alain C. faced manslaughter charges related to the incident and appeared in court in Montauban to address the matter. He expressed deep remorse and referred to the incident as “the tragedy of my life.” Alain maintained that he had not acted negligently and placed blame on Galy for deviating from his planned flight path, suggesting reckless behavior on Galy’s part.

Mark Andrews (pictured middle) with members of base jumping group, Learn To Base Jump

Alain acknowledged that he believed he had maintained a safe distance from the wingsuit divers before initiating his descent but noted that wingsuit flyers “don’t descend much and can be in conflict with the aircraft.”

He asserted that Galy, an experienced parachutist with 226 jumps, had not followed the expected course and should not have been on that trajectory. Alain emphasized that Galy was flying parallel to the plane, and he believed his flight path was reasonable and safe.

Despite Alain’s defense, the prosecutor, Jeanne Regagnon, recommended a 12-month suspended prison sentence and a 10,000 euro fine for the pilot. Regagnon argued that Galy was the only one who adhered to the rules without negligence.

During the court proceedings, it came to light that Alain, aged 64, had operated the plane with an invalid pilot’s license. French aviation authorities had restricted his flying privileges due to a medical condition, but he flew despite these limitations.

The court was scheduled to deliver its verdict in November. This incident followed the unfortunate death of a British wingsuit pilot, Mark Andrews, who died in July while base jumping in Italy. Andrews, 65, fell from a mountaintop in Trentino, Italy, while wearing a wingsuit and was unable to deploy his parachute after losing control.

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