A French aviator has been exempted from a prison sentence but is prohibited from flying for a duration of one year. This decision comes in the aftermath of the pilot’s involvement in an incident where a wingsuit skydiver was decapitated by the wing of his aircraft.
The unidentified pilot was pronounced guilty on Tuesday for involuntary manslaughter and operating an aircraft without a valid pilot’s license. In relation to the tragic skydiving incident in July 2018, which resulted in the death of 40-year-old Nicolas Galy, the pilot received a suspended sentence of 12 months.
The Montauban criminal court imposed a fine of 20,000 euros on the employer of the pilot, namely, the Midi-Pyrénées Skydiving School Association. Half of this amount was suspended as part of the penalty.
Following the tragic incident, the skydiving school has heightened security measures, and mandatory briefings have been implemented, as stated by the school’s president, Isabelle Deschamps.
“I think my flight path made sense. This has been the tragedy of my life but I am not at fault,” the pilot remarked.
Nevertheless, the pilot acknowledged that he had failed to provide a briefing to the skydivers before their ill-fated jump.
Subsequently, he lost visual contact with them and presumed they had ventured further south.
It was revealed in the course of the trial that the pilot was operating the aircraft with an expired license.
A legal representative for the victim’s family emphasized in a September hearing that the case entailed a significant degree of recklessness.