French Pilot: French pilot sentenced for accidental killing of skydiver

NEW DELHI: A 64-year-old French pilot has received a one-year suspended prison sentence for involuntary manslaughter after being declared guilty of killing a skydiver with his plane’s wing during a jump, CNN reported.
The incident happened in July 2018 over the town of Bouloc, close to the city of Toulouse in the country’s southwest, CNN quoted a report published by the French Bureau of Enquiry and Analysis for Civil Aviation Safety in 2020.
“A collision occurred between the first wingsuit skydiver and the aircraft’s left wing, a few seconds after he jumped out of the plane. The wingsuit skydiver died upon impact,” the report said.
The Pilatus PC-6 aircraft had 10 skydivers and a coach on board. A 40-year-old male individual was the first to jump out of the plane, according to the report.
The pilot thought he had moved away from the skydivers’ path after doing a left turn, but seconds later, he felt a heavy shock “and realized that he had hit one of the skydivers,” the report said.
The second skydiver was wearing a camera, which photographed the whole process of the crash, according to the report.
According to CNN, the crash may have happened because of various factors, such as a lack of communication between the skydivers and the pilot and the plane’s sudden steep descent.
The pilot, aged 58 during the incident, was flying alone that day, violating his medical certificate that prohibited him from flying alone.
The organization hosting the event, the Midi-Pyrénées Skydiving School Association, acknowledged the need for improvements and implemented suggested measures.
The pilot has also been given a one-year flying ban by the court.
Between 2015 and 2020, 13 people died during wingsuit skydives in France, according to a report by the National Mountain Safety Observation System.

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