Posted By RichC on May 7, 2011
On Friday I was streaming the Atlas 5 rocket countdown on my computer while waiting for Yves Rossy to fly his jet wing across the Grand Canyon (see previous posts). NASA’s red anvil rule scrubbed the launch of the Atlas 5 (clouds) and according to an EAA article, Rossy felt he needed a bit more preparation time. Maybe next time?
May 6, 2011 — Yves Rossy, known the world over as “Jetman,” was set to make his first flight in the United States on Friday morning over the Grand Canyon in Arizona, but he scrubbed it at the last minute because he wanted more time to train. The FAA had given its approval for the flight, classifying Rossy and his jet wing as an aircraft and assigning the registration number N15YR. But even though the Las Vegas FSDO went the extra mile to shrink a weeks-long certification process down to two days, Rossy wanted to err on the side of safety.
“As with any professional pilot, before an air show I need training,” Rossy told KTTV-Los Angeles. “The Blue Angels train until [they achieve] excellence, then afterwards they go for a demo.”
The actual FAA certification paperwork arrived at the Grand Canyon just an hour before Rossy was scheduled to fly. He said he will try again but did not give a timeframe or reveal under what conditions his jet wing was given certification.
The plan was for Rossy to strap into his jet wing, ride a helicopter to about 7,000 feet AGL, fire up the four small model aircraft jet engines, then jump out. The flight would have been over Grand Canyon West near Guano Point on the Hualapai Indian Reservation – located about 2-1/2 hours southeast of Las Vegas, Nevada. The flight is sponsored by Breitling.
Jetman graced the cover of the March 2011 EAA Sport Aviation magazine (read story). He’s also flown across the English Channel (2008) and last year made a spectacular hot-air balloon-borne flight over Denezy, Switzerland, achieving the first loops with the wing.