A Dubai “jetman” famous for flying over the world’s tallest building and alongside jumbo jets with engines strapped to his back has died in a training accident.
Jetman Dubai said Frenchman Vincent Reffet was killed during training on Tuesday (local time).
“Vince was a talented athlete, and a much-loved and respected member of our team,” the organisation said in a statement on social media.
“We are working closely with all relevant authorities and ask that you please keep Vince’s family in your thoughts and prayers.”
Jetman Dubai did not say how the 36-year-old died.
Reffet set a world record in 2014 when he base-jumped from Dubair’s Burj Khalifa, the world’s tallest building at 828 metres. He also earned gold medals while competing as a free-flying skydiver and was one of the extreme athletes sponsored by Red Bull.
“I believe that if you dream big and if you love what you do everything is possible,” he once said.
Jetman Dubai was founded by Swiss adventurer Yves Rossy and is associated with Crown Prince Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum.
Its jetmen fly through the sky with four-engine, carbon-Kevlar wing strapped to their backs. They can reach speeds of more than 400km/h and fly as high as 6100 metres.
In 2015, Reffet and Rossy famously flew alongside an Emirates Airbus A380 over Dubai.
“It’s the sensation of freedom. Already, you know, when I am skydiving, I have like this feeling of freedom I can like pretty much go where I want but always going down,” he told The Associated Press in 2015.
“With this machine … I can fly like a bird.”