Famous “Jetman” Vince Reffet’s wings were cropped. The French, who was part of the high-flying crew that surrounded Dubai in 2015 with a giant Emirates Airbus A380, died in a training accident on Tuesday, according to his team.
Jetman Dubai spokesman Abdulla Binhabtoor told AFP that 36-year-old Arab sheikhdom from Annecy was killed at his base in the desert outside the city.
“Vince was a talented athlete and a much loved and respected member of our team,” he said. “Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and everyone who knows and works with him.”
Binhabtoor added that the organization “works closely with all relevant authorities”.
The United Arab Emirates General Civil Aviation Authority, which investigated all aviation incidents in the seven sheikhdoms, did not immediately respond to a call from the Associated Press for comment.
When Reffet and Swiss adventurer Yves Rossy soared over Dubai in November 2015, they captivated audiences online, flying alongside the world’s tallest building, Burj Khalifa, attached to jetpacks while escorting the world’s largest passenger plane.
Jetman Dubai, founded by Rossy, sees its flies jumping in the sky with carbon-Kevlar wings that can fly 30 mph, have a maximum speed of 250 mph and can reach a height of 20,000 feet.
“The feeling of freedom. Already, you know, when I parachute, I have a sense of freedom to go where I want but always go down,” Reffet said in 2015. ” With this machine … I can fly like a bird. ”
According to Agence France-Presse, Reffet’s exploits went viral earlier this year when he got off the ground in Dubai and rose nearly 6,000 feet with a success reminiscent of Marvel’s “Iron Man.”
He also broke a world record by jumping BASE from the 2,716 feet tall Burj Khalifa. BASE is an acronym for building, antenna, span, and ground.
He won a gold medal while competing as a paratrooper and also competed as an extreme athlete under the sponsorship of Red Bull.
In October, Reffet described his enthusiasm for his acrobatic movements to bring the Swiss mountains closer, and he said he felt “nauseous”.
“You’re not fine, it’s a mental war. And then you get on the plane, the project is finished, and now you’re thinking about the next project. You’re looking for that moment,” he told AFP.
“You have too many dreams and life is too short,” he added.