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Skydive Midair

Old 26th Sep 2023, 02:21
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Skydive Midair

From Avweb

The pilot of a jump plane has testified he believes a wing-suited skydiver was to blame for a midair collision with the aircraft that resulted in the jumper’s decapitation. The pilot, identified as Alain C., is facing manslaughter charges in a French court in the death of Nicholas Galy in July of 2018. After 10 skydivers departed the aircraft at 14,400 feet, the pilot told the court he veered away from their expected path and began a steep descent. The wing and strut of the plane (type unknown, though said to be a Pilatus elsewhere) hit Galy about 20 seconds later. Another skydiver’s helmet cam caught the whole grisly sequence and it was key evidence in the resulting investigations.Alain C. said his actions “made sense” and that Galy and another man in a wingsuit “did not follow the expected course and should never have been on that course.” After the collision, Galy’s body fell until his reserve parachute was deployed by an automatic activation device and it landed in a field. “This has been the tragedy of my life, but I am not at fault,” the pilot testified. The incident happened in the French Pyrenees.

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Old 26th Sep 2023, 02:59
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Seems to have been a PC-6:

https://aviation-safety.net/wikibase/213680
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Old 26th Sep 2023, 11:55
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He estimated his vertical descent speed at that time to be between 3,500 and 4,500 ft/min.
=

the immediate descent of the Pilatus, on a steep slope, commanded by the pilot even though he did not have visual contact with the wingsuiter(s).
....Would seem to be a factor. It's hard to say that the airplane is in controlled flight on a predicted path if this descent rate is achieved in a turn immediately after jumpers have departed.

Early in my jumper flying days, unbriefed (to me), four jumpers hung off the wingstrut (C 185), and all dropped off at once. The result was that the airplane topped to the left when they released, as I had had so much left control held in to oppose their drag. I was not bothered by the momentary loss of control of the airplane, but terrified that I did not know where I was (and was going) relative to the falling jumpers. Everything was fine, but I had a pointed discussion with the jumpers later. They assured me that they had been well clear - I can only take their word for that. But after that, I was certain to fly a straight, and initially only slightly descending path for a reasonable time after the jumpers had left, then get them in sight, and begin my descent. I never flew any wingsuiters (that I knew of...)

My "training" as a jump pilot had been poor, and I learned as I went. That was not good enough. Preflight briefings were very casual, I insisted on understanding what we were doing before I flew, to overcome:

- lack of an onboard briefing between the parachutists, the wingsuiters and the pilot;
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Old 26th Sep 2023, 17:22
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Is it standard practice for the sky diving aircraft to dive after disgorging it's passengers? As skydivers cannot go up would seem sensible for the aircraft to clear the area and maintain altitude until everyone is down?
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Old 26th Sep 2023, 17:26
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I almost hit a couple of jumpers doing CRW once. I figured that they would be clear and made a mistake of flying close to the airport. The same weekend a jumper was killed a few hundred miles away at an airshow where the plane does the circling around the jumper as he descends. I was lucky. And the skydivers thought it was really cool that I did a nice flyby for them, not realizing I almost killed them.

I think Wingsuits make things more risky.
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Old 26th Sep 2023, 23:43
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My jump pilot days were 40 yrs ago in 182's and BE 18's (SNB-5 and C-45)...Students were still jumping static line T-10's...We descended so as to not shock cool the recips (R-985's on the Beech's)...Jumpers were well away and beat us to the ground...Now modern TP's allow for very steep descents...
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Old 27th Sep 2023, 01:07
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Originally Posted by munnst
Is it standard practice for the sky diving aircraft to dive after disgorging it's passengers? As skydivers cannot go up would seem sensible for the aircraft to clear the area and maintain altitude until everyone is down?
There is usually another load waiting for the jump plane. Jump pilots typically descend as fast as possible consistent with sensible engine temperature management. In the 182 and P206 I usually had a brief level segment while I closed the door. In the larger jump planes the pilot can't close the jump door so no delay for that.

I didn't fly many wingsuiters but I did fly several CRW (canopy relative work) loads. These jumpers pull as soon as they leave the aircraft to have maximum time for linking up in different formations. A jump plane is almost always going to pass a CRW group on the way down. A CRW group is big and easy to see. Much bigger that a solo wingsuiter.
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Old 27th Sep 2023, 05:59
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Separation certainly needs to be prebriefed, collision occurred twenty seconds after drop, wonder if the wing suiter was attempting unbriefed formation. Skydivers and wing suiters are known to have collisions during flight, some resulting in the loss of limbs or death.

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Old 27th Sep 2023, 08:10
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" The incident happened in the French Pyrenees."

As a point of info/order Bouloc is very long way north of the Pyrenees, it's in the relative flatlands well north of Toulouse.

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Old 6th Oct 2023, 16:45
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Originally Posted by punkalouver
I think Wingsuits make things more risky.
Well that's a given really


I never could beat them down, but then again it was only a 182. I also never had any problem avoiding them - even the tandems that open up around three or four. We also never had any CRW . . . well not unless I was doing it (more value for your money IMO, time wise at least)

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Old 6th Oct 2023, 22:40
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Yes, it is pretty normal for a Pilatus Porter to make a steep descent to pick up the next load of jumpers. They often don’t even bother to shut off the engine while picking up the next load, as I’m told it stresses the engine. Wingsuits may make it easier for the skydiver to move faster horizontally than regular skydivers, hence increasing the chance of a collision like this one.



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Old 7th Oct 2023, 20:41
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Do the Porter pilots put the engine into Beta to achieve those descent angles?

I had a ride in a Porter once. The closest thing to a helicopter departure in a fixed-wing that I have ever experienced.
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Old 7th Oct 2023, 21:52
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Anyone have a link to the video of a twin that beats the skydivers to the ground with an awesome high speed, low level base turn to roll wings level over the threshold? All to the tune of “Sail” by AWOL Nation?
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Old 7th Oct 2023, 23:45
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Originally Posted by India Four Two
Do the Porter pilots put the engine into Beta to achieve those descent angles?

I had a ride in a Porter once. The closest thing to a helicopter departure in a fixed-wing that I have ever experienced.
I read a test of the Turbo Porter about 50 years ago, and it was normal and legal to descend in Beta mode. Don't know if it is now, but it was then.

Last edited by sablatnic; 8th Oct 2023 at 18:01.
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Old 8th Oct 2023, 07:28
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Originally Posted by Boeingdriver999
Anyone have a link to the video of a twin that beats the skydivers to the ground with an awesome high speed, low level base turn to roll wings level over the threshold? All to the tune of “Sail” by AWOL Nation?
This one
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Old 8th Oct 2023, 14:45
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I’m pretty sure that’s the guy but the clip I’m talking about was from the inside and from top of drop to taxi turn off. Amazing pilot….
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Old 8th Oct 2023, 17:05
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Originally Posted by megan
Separation certainly needs to be prebriefed, collision occurred twenty seconds after drop, wonder if the wing suiter was attempting unbriefed formation. Skydivers and wing suiters are known to have collisions during flight, some resulting in the loss of limbs or death.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_5gwdXWo3eQ
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RkSqXGWWx1o
...sometimes they don't die.

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Old 22nd Nov 2023, 15:36
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https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-67494130

French pilot sentenced for decapitating skydiver with wing of plane

A French pilot has been banned from flying after he decapitated a skydiver with the wing of a plane.

Nicolas Galy, 40, was struck in the air moments after jumping from the aircraft in July 2018.

The pilot, who has not been named, was found guilty on Tuesday of involuntary manslaughter and given a suspended sentence by Montauban criminal court.

The Midi-Pyrénées Skydiving School Association, which employed the pilot, has been fined €20,000 (£17,400).

Half of that amount, €10,000 (£8,700), has been suspended, French media report.

According to Le Parisien, immediately after the drop, the pilot of the aircraft began its descent towards the aerodrome tarmac.

Before the skydiver jumped out of the aircraft, there was no consultation on the trajectory the plane would take, the paper said.

Citing a hearing on 19 September, the lawyer for the victim's relatives, Emmanuelle Franck, deplored "a lot of recklessness or negligence".

The president of the court in south-west France also pointed out a lack of communication between the victim and the pilot.

Since the incident, security measures have been strengthened and briefings have become obligatory, the report in Le Parisien added.
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Old 22nd Nov 2023, 16:27
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Skydivers pilots are pushed to make as many rotations they can within a precise timeframe , and turbine time is expensive, You can do a lot with a Caravan or a Pilatus, and diving close to Vne, then banking 60 degrees at 100ft over the numbers to land past the mid markers in order to vacate the runway before the divers land is fun to do for the pilot, allows more jumps for the divers and maximize profits for the outfit owner. So no-one complains . Except when something goes wrong of course, like widows of parents...but a 10.000 Euros fine for the school for a life... That is really going to make them change..
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Old 23rd Nov 2023, 04:53
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In this article it also says that the pilot didn't hold a valid licence

https://www.nzherald.co.nz/travel/pi...KZF4L3YX23UJA/
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