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.
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.
The accident, which happened at 36-year-old Reffet’s Jetman base in the desert outside the city, is now under investigation.
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.