Rocket man ditches into Atlantic

Swiss adventurer Yves Rossy went down in the sea yesterday while attempting to fly from Morocco to Spain on jet-powered wings.

Rossy took off successfully from Tangiers, but managed just five minutes of flight before he was downed by poor weather conditions and a malfunctioning wing. He was pulled from the water by helicopter, unharmed.

The former fighter pilot was wearing an eight-foot carbon fiber wing powered by four kerosene-fueled jet engines. His flight started at a height of 6,500 feet when he jumped out of a small plane wearing a flame-retardant suit.

If successful, it would have been the first intercontinental crossing using jet-powered wings. (Yes, we know it’s only a ten-minute hop, but he could have done it in Turkey, where Asia and Europe meet at the Bosphorus.)  He was expecting to manage the 23-mile trip in fifteen minutes, at a speed of 130mph.

Last year, Rossy made it across the English Channel in one piece. He’s planning another shot at the Morocco-Spain route early in the new year.

Watch the rescue, here.