Buzz Lightyear Yves Rossy and his wingsuit are ready to cross the chasm of America’s most renowned canyon.
Swiss adventurer who has flown his jet-propelled wingsuit over the Swiss Alps and across the English Channel hopes to fulfill a dream by flying through the Grand Canyon. Former fighter pilot Yves Rossy plans to attempt the stunt early Friday, though he has not yet secured the necessary approvals from the Federal Aviation Administration.
It all seems so very Evel Knievel-ish. As long as there have been records, people have sought to exceed them. From fastest pilot to longest wingwalker to highest free fall. Pushing envelopes can lead to new discoveries (else why build an X-1) but the venue suggests otherwise. There’s a lot of publicity to be had and this is a stuntman’s dream. To his credit, he’s been developing his “Jetman” suit persistently and is always breaking new ground with sometimes perilous results. He flew a new version of his jet-powered flight system last year and successfully performed 2 aerial loops, so there’s that.
Plans are to fly over Grand Canyon West. The regular park service takes a dim view on this sort of thing so it’s being handled through the Hualapai Indian Reservation. Since it doesn’t qualify as an ultralight, it required an experimental registration to fly and after a series of tests, the FAA has given its approval and registration number N15YR to the , um…wing. Check the news tomorrow at 10:00 mountain to see if he made it and check this excellent write up (It is easier to read the actual magazine article) from EAA of the man and his quest to do what many dream about: soaring like a jet without an airplane.
Update: Not yet
an apologetic Rossy stood before a crowd of reporters not in the black jet suit but in a T-shirt and jeans to declare the stunt was called off. He said the same elements that piqued his interest in flying over the massive gorge years ago also meant the flight would be too much of a challenge without any practice runs.”If I do a mistake and half of U.S. television (is here), it’s really bad for you, for me, for everybody,”
It will also scotch a whole lot of endorsement money, especially Breitling, if he delploys the chute before reaching the other side. The call is with the PIC: A superior pilot is one who uses his superior judgment so as not to have to use his superior skill..