French ‘Jetman’ Vince Reffet killed in training accident in Dubai

Frenchman Vince Reffet, part of the "Jetman" team which has performed groundbreaking stunts above Dubai using jetpacks and carbon-fibre wings, was killed in a training accident on Tuesday. (AFP)
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Updated 17 November 2020

French ‘Jetman’ Vince Reffet killed in training accident in Dubai

  • Reffet pioneered groundbreaking stunts above Dubai using jetpacks and carbon-fiber wings
  • Authorities investigating accident, which happened at the Jetman base in the desert outside the city

DUBAI: Frenchman Vince Reffet, part of the “Jetman” team which has performed groundbreaking stunts above Dubai using jetpacks and carbon-fiber wings, was killed in a training accident Tuesday, a spokesman said.
The Jetmen have pulled off a series of dramatic flights over the Gulf city, soaring in tandem above the world’s tallest building Burj Khalifa and alongside an Emirates Airbus A380, the world’s largest commercial airliner.

 

 
 
 
 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Jetman Dubai (@jetman)


Stunts elsewhere in the world, including swooping into an aeroplane through a small door in mid-flight, and flying through China’s famed “Heaven’s Gate” archway in the mountains of Hunan province, drew huge audiences on social media.
“It is with unimaginable sadness that we announce the passing of Jetman Pilot, Vincent (Vince) Reffet, who died this morning, 17 November, during training in Dubai,” Jetman Dubai spokesman Abdulla Binhabtoor told AFP.
“Vince was a talented athlete, and a much-loved and respected member of our team. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and all those who knew and worked with him.”

 




Vince Reffet, known as Jetman, taking part in a flight near the Ain Dubai (Dubai Eye) Ferris Wheel. Reffet was killed in a training accident on Tuesday. (AFP)


The accident, which happened at 36-year-old Reffet’s Jetman base in the desert outside the city, is now under investigation.
“We are working closely with all relevant authorities,” Binhabtoor said.
Reffet’s exploits went viral earlier this year, with video of him taking off from the ground and climbing to 1,800 meters over Dubai’s waterfront, in a feat reminiscent of Marvel’s “Iron Man.”

 



The Frenchman hovered five meters above the waters of Dubai’s coast before shooting off into the air and skimming the city’s skyline in the stunt that was hailed as a world first.
The Jetmen had previously launched themselves into the air by jumping down from high platforms.
In an interview with AFP in October, Reffet described the exhilaration of stunts like zooming into the plane flying over the Swiss mountains, which he said left him feeling “sick to your stomach.”
“You’re not well, it’s a mental battle. And then you get on the plane, the project is over, and now you’re already thinking about the next project. You’re looking for that moment,” he said.
“You have so many dreams and life is so short.”
Reffet’s carbon fiber wings were powered by four mini jet engines. The equipment, which is controlled by the pilot’s movements, is capable of reaching speeds of 400 kilometers per hour.
The Jetman team also includes fellow Frenchman Fred Fugen and Emirati pilot Ahmed Alshehhi.

 


Zarif ‘desperate’ to blame Saudi Arabia for anything negative that happens in Iran: Al-Jubeir

Updated 4 min 57 sec ago

Zarif ‘desperate’ to blame Saudi Arabia for anything negative that happens in Iran: Al-Jubeir

  • “It is not the policy of Saudi Arabia to engage in assasinations; unlike Iran” minister tweeted

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia's Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Adel Al-Jubeir said on Tuesday Mohammad Zarif, Iranian foreign minister, was “desperate” to blame Saudi Arabia for anything negative that happens in Iran.

“Iranian Foreign Minister Zarif is desperate to blame the Kingdom for anything negative that happens in Iran. Will he blame us for the next earthquake or flood?” he tweeted.

“It is not the policy of Saudi Arabia to engage in assasinations; unlike Iran, which has done so since the Khomeini Revolution in 1979. Ask us, and ask many other countries who have lost many of their citizens due to Iran’s criminal and illegal behavior,” he added.

Al-Jubeir's comments come after Iranian nuclear scientist Mohsen Fakhrizadeh was killed in an ambush near Tehran on Friday.

Fakhrizadeh has been described by Western and Israeli intelligence services for years as the leader of a covert atomic bomb programme halted in 2003, which Israel and the United States accuse Tehran of trying to restore in secret.

Iran has blamed external entities, including Israel and an exiled opposition group, for the killing.