Jump Pilot Blames Skydiver For Fatal Midair Collision

John Spartan

Pre-takeoff checklist
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Cannot think of any way a wing suit guy could be liable for getting hit by a Pilatus 20 seconds after exiting the plane.


 
"Alain, who worked for a local skydiving school, admitted on the stand that he had not briefed the skydivers and wingsuiters about the jump."

"It also emerged during the trial that the 64-year-old aviator was flying with an invalid license after he violated some restrictions stemming from an unspecified medical condition."

Oof. Keep in mind this was in France.
 
I’m in France at the moment. Not a word on French news, but the accident was years ago. From what I’ve read about it I think the pilot is unlucky, not criminally negligent. I don’t see where he reversed course on descent. That said, why would the wing suit diver fly on the same heading as the plane?
 
I’m in France at the moment. Not a word on French news, but the accident was years ago. From what I’ve read about it I think the pilot is unlucky, not criminally negligent. I don’t see where he reversed course on descent. That said, why would the wing suit diver fly on the same heading as the plane?
Does a wing suit hold onto enough velocity to keep up with a Pilatus? That’s the part I keep trying to figure out. And there sure was negligence if no one talked about the plan for where everyone would be post jump although the dead guy gets a share in that scenario.
 
I guess the court will hear the facts and decide. The jumper wasn’t new at it, and neither was the pilot. I don’t presume to know the facts. And I’m here!
 
How fast horizontally can a wingsuiter go? I can't see how it's not the pilot's fault.
 
How fast horizontally can a wingsuiter go? I can't see how it's not the pilot's fault.
That was my question. My expectation was the plane would just rapidly pull away, but what do I know?
 
This just goes to show a plan without proper planning, is not a plan at all. I never cared much for skydiving or anything like that. Why jump out of a perfectly good airplane?

Now don’t get me wrong, I was always ready to eject from our hot seats we had in the single seats (T-38, F-16, etc), but I never had to do it. Seen it happen a handful of times though.
 
Does a wing suit hold onto enough velocity to keep up with a Pilatus? That’s the part I keep trying to figure out. And there sure was negligence if no one talked about the plan for where everyone would be post jump although the dead guy gets a share in that scenario.
Once the last jumper exits, the pilot points the nose down and pulls the power way back, Wingsuiters can track at 120 mph, more if the jumper is at the expert level.
 
Once the last jumper exits, the pilot points the nose down and pulls the power way back,

Yes. I suppose the wing-suiters want to go down as slowly as they can (to some approximation) and the pilot wants to go down as fast as he can (precisely and exactly), cos time is money. The wing-suiters start first.

The plane may overtake the wingsuiters, guess they didn't work it out.
 
Yes. I suppose the wing-suiters want to go down as slowly as they can (to some approximation) and the pilot wants to go down as fast as he can (precisely and exactly), cos time is money. The wing-suiters start first.

The plane may overtake the wingsuiters, guess they didn't work it out.
Jumpers that do a conventional arch descend at around 10,000 fpm. Depending on what they're doing, free flyers can descend as much as 15,000 fpm. Wingsuiters can descend as slowly as 2500 fpm, and a Pilatus with the engine at idle pointed towards the ground can easily catch them.

The drop zone I did my few later jumps at had a chart for what you could do and when you should depart the airplane. IIRC a wingsuiter was expected to track away and slightly to the rear of the airplane just to avoid such a collision. Sounds like someone, or possibly both, didn't follow the plan. Jump planes follow a regular pattern to get back to the drop zone as quickly as possible. I think it's more likely that the jumper didn't follow the flight plan.
 
I think it's more likely that the jumper didn't follow the flight plan.
From the article and an earlier post:

"Alain, who worked for a local skydiving school, admitted on the stand that he had not briefed the skydivers and wingsuiters about the jump."
 
How fast horizontally can a wingsuiter go? I can't see how it's not the pilot's fault.
Initially, the same speed as the plane. I don't know the jumper's change in speed due to drag or other factors.
 
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