Is it a bird? Is it a plane? No, it's a jet malfunction
Thursday 26 November 2009
Like Icarus, he attempted to soar across a body of water using a pair of wings. Unfortunately for Swiss pilot Yves Rossy – also known as "Jet Man" – his flight ended in similarly spectacular failure yesterday.
Whereas the character from Greek mythology relied upon wax and feathers to propel him through the air, Mr Rossy preferred a four-cylinder jet pack and carbon-fibre wings. And to the relief of those watching on 24-hour news channels, his dramatic fall into the Strait of Gibraltar did not result in his death.
The 50-year-old fell into the sea 15 minutes after leaping out of an aircraft above Tangier in Morocco. He had aimed to reach Atlantera in southern Spain 23 miles away, and if he had succeeded, he would have become the first person to complete an intercontinental crossing using only a jet-powered wing.
Wearing a flame-retardant suit and helmet, Mr Rossy cruised at speeds of up to 180mph at an altitude of 6,500ft before disaster struck. Organisers said his wing had suffered a "malfunction", forcing him to deploy his parachute. They added that both he and the wing "seemed intact", but he was flown to hospital as a precaution after being winched to safety.
The jet wing had no steering devices, so Mr Rossy had to use his head and back to control its movement.
- 1 BBC election debate: The one photo that summed up the whole 90-minute leaders debate
- 2 A bottle of wine a day is not bad for you and abstaining is worse than drinking, scientist claims
- 3 18th century sex toy found in 'toilet of sword fighting school' in Poland
- 4 'I wish my teacher knew...': Young students share their 'heartbreaking' worries in notes
- 5 Rebecca Francis accuses Ricky Gervais of using 'influence' to target female hunters after receiving barrage of death threats
General Election 2015: David Cameron catching up in polls – but he badly needs a clear lead
The Hubble Space Telescope's amazing journey 25 years on
South Africa xenophobic attacks: Shops looted and violence on streets of Johannesburg as foreigners are forced to hide in police stations
Earthworms rain down from skies over Norway, puzzling scientists
18th century sex toy found in 'toilet of sword fighting school' in Poland
The only black face in the Ukip manifesto is on the page about overseas aid
Ukip is the only main political party to not address LGBT rights in its manifesto
If I’m being racially abused I don’t need a white stranger with a saviour complex to rescue me
BBC election debate: The one photo that summed up the whole 90-minute leaders debate
Religion isn't growing, it is becoming vigorous in its demise, says philosopher AC Grayling
Russian warships in English Channel 'to conduct anti-aircraft and anti-submarine military drills'
£18000 - £20000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: HR Assistant (Events busi...
Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This privately-owned company designs and manuf...
£22000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An opportunity has arisen at th...
£36000 - £40000 per annum + Bonus: Ashdown Group: HR Manager (Generalist) -Old...