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Jetman Makes First U.S. Flight

By Ric Reynolds, News Editor, EAA 642317

Jetman Grand Canyon
Yves Rossy prepares to depart the helicopter at about 8,000 feet over the Grand Canyon Saturday.

Jetman Grand Canyon
Jetman soars over the Grand Canyon in his first U.S. flight May 7.
Larger view

Jetman Grand Canyon
Yves Rossy reached speeds up to 190 mph during his May 7 flight. (Photos courtesy: Breitling)

May 10, 2011 —Yves “Jetman” Rossy made his first U.S. flight in his jet-powered wing on Saturday morning, May 7, over the Grand Canyon in Arizona, Breitling reported this morning. He launched from a helicopter at 8,000 feet altitude and flew 200 feet above the rim of Grand Canyon West at speeds of up to 190 mph, according to the Breitling report. The flight occurred near Guano Point on the Hualapai Indian Reservation - about 2-1/2 hours southeast of Las Vegas, Nevada - lasted more than eight minutes, and ended with Rossy parachuting safely to the canyon floor.

Originally scheduled the previous day, the flight was postponed when “final FAA certification was held up over difficulty in classifying Mr. Rossy’s one-of-a-kind, jet-powered wing,” according to a Breitling press release. “By the time the process was complete, sufficient practice flights were unable to occur prior to the scheduled 9 a.m. flight.”

The FAA had given its approval for the flight, classifying Rossy and his jet wing as an aircraft and assigning the registration number N15YR. The Las Vegas FSDO went the extra mile to shrink a weeks-long certification process down to two days, but Rossy decided to delay the flight for safety’s sake.

“My first flight in the U.S. is sure to be one of the most memorable experiences in my life, not only for the sheer beauty of the Grand Canyon but the honor to fly in sacred Native American lands,” Rossy said. “Thank you Mother Nature and the Hualapai Tribe for making my lifelong dreams come true.”

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