Yves Rossy, who calls himself “Jetman”, is poised to make the first intercontinental flight powered by a jet-pack when he attempts to fly across the Strait of Gibraltar from North Africa to Europe on Wednesday.
The 50-year-old Swiss adventurer powered into the record books a year ago when he crossed the English Channel from Calais to Dover with a jet-propelled wing on his back.
He will now attempt the 23-mile crossing between Tangier in Morocco and Tarifa on the southwestern tip of Spain.
“It is going to be historic,” Mr Rossy said ahead of the record attempt. “No one has ever done this before.”
The daredevil, who also claims the nickname “Fusionman” – because he believes he combines the skills of man and bird – will leap from a plane on the African side of the Strait of Gibraltar and attempt to soar across north Atlantic waters at the mouth of the Mediterranean.
Using a four-cylinder jet pack and carbon fibre wings spanning over 8ft, he will jump out of a plane at 6,500 ft and cruise at 130 mph until he reaches the Spanish coast, when he will parachute to earth.
The journey, which is dependent on good weather, is expected to take less than fifteen minutes to complete.
Mr Rossy, who is a professional airline pilot, will be accompanied by a fleet of helicopters and aircraft to film
A Swiss man has failed in his attempt to become the first person to fly solo across the Strait of Gibraltar using a single jet-propelled wing.
Yves Rossy, known as Jetman, ditched in the water and was rescued minutes after setting off from above Morocco.
Organisers said he had deployed his parachute after the wing malfunctioned, possibly owing to engine failure.
The 50-year-old became the first person to cross the Channel using a jet-powered wing in September 2008.
Wednesday’s 38km (23 mile) flight had been billed as the first crossing of its kind over the north Atlantic between Africa and Europe.
It appeared to begin well as Mr Rossy launched himself from a small plane about 1,950m (6,500ft) above Tangier in Morocco.
The former fighter pilot had planned to cut his engines, open a parachute and land in Atlanterra, southern Spain, after a flight lasting up to a quarter of an hour.
But within minutes it was clear all was not well and Mr Rossy plunged into the sea.
He was unhurt when fished from the water by a helicopter, but had been taken to hospital as a precaution, said organisers.
“The good news is that he is fine,” Stuart Sterzel, spokesman for sponsors Webtel.mobi, told reporters near Atlanterra. “He gave the thumbs-up sign through the door of the helicopter.”
He added that Mr Rossy would probably attempt the crossing again in the new year. – bbc