"Jetman" crashes in sea on flight to Spain

Wed Nov 25, 2009 12:45pm EST
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MADRID (Reuters Life!) - A Swiss adventurer hoping to become the first person to fly between continents with a jet engine strapped to his back crashed into the sea on Wednesday while trying to cross the Strait of Gibraltar.

Yves Rossy, who successfully jetted across the English Channel in 2008 using his engine and solo wing, ran into trouble shortly after he was launched from a light aeroplane above the Moroccan coast in a bid to reach Spain, his support team said.

Video provided by the team showed the 50-year-old initially soaring though clouds before cutting to images of him bobbing near his parachute in the sea and finally being hoisted into a helicopter.

The former military pilot was not hurt, a member of his Geneva-based press team said.

Rossy had hoped to fly about 40 km (25 miles) to Atlanterra in southern Spain at a cruising speed of about 220 km/h (130 mp/h), strapped beneath a wing carrying 30 liters of kerosene as fuel.

(Reporting by Jason Webb, editing by Paul Casciato)