‘Rocket man’ flight misfires

ATLANTERRA, Spain — A Swiss adventurer ditched safely into the chilly waters between Morocco and Spain on Wednesday after a technical malfunction ended the first attempted intercontinental crossing on jet-powered wings.

This is a May 14

ATLANTERRA, Spain — A Swiss adventurer ditched safely into the chilly waters between Morocco and Spain on Wednesday after a technical malfunction ended the first attempted intercontinental crossing on jet-powered wings.

A rescue helicopter winched Yves Gossy to safety from the wind-swept Atlantic.

Rossy, a 50-year-old former fighter pilot, had taken off from Tangiers but five minutes into what was supposed to be a 15-minute flight he vanished from TV screens providing live footage from planes and choppers accompanying him. For a good 10 minutes, no one knew where he was.

“The good news is that he is fine,” Stuart Sterzel, CEO of sponsors Webtel.mobi, told reporters on a beach outside this southern Spanish town, where Rossy was supposed to land.

“He gave the thumbs-up sign through the door of the helicopter,” said Sterzel.

Sterzel said the wing malfunctioned, possibly due to engine failure, but said Rossy had deployed his parachute and landed in the water in a controlled fashion.

Things started off fine. As planned, Rossy stood on the ledge of an open door on the small plane that took him into the air, and jumped, deploying the wing and plummeting about 500 metres until he upped his thrust and gained flight at a cruising speed of 220 km/h per hour at an altitude of 1,950 metres.

The wing has no steering mechanism. Rossy guides it by shifting his weight.

He banked sharply left at first, and strong winds buffeted him.

At one point he flew through clouds and was lost from sight. Below him, a ferry sailed from Morocco to Spain.

Sterzel says Rossy went down about a third of the way into the flight, but did not crash. Rather, it was his decision to ditch. He was in the water for about 12 minutes.

“He was in control of the situation,” Sterzel said.

He called Rossy a hero just for trying, even though he did not make it from Africa to Europe has planned.

“He is a man of courage,” Sterzel said. “He will get up and dust himself off.”

Rossy was flown to a hospital in the southern city of Jerez for a precautionary checkup.

Sterzel said a full rescue rehearsal with Rossy in the water had been carried out Tuesday and the team had been fully prepared.

He said Rossy would probably attempt the crossing again in the new year.

The Spanish Coast Guard was expected to retrieve the wing and the parachute from the sea.

Rossy attempted the feat wearing a homemade wing spanning 2.5 metres and powered by four kerosene-fuelled jet engines.

His endeavour had been billed as the first intercontinental crossing by man using jet-powered wings — over the North Atlantic between Africa and Europe.

Rossy provided the first public demonstration of his homemade aircraft in May 2008, doing figure eights over the Alps before touching down near the eastern shore of Lake Geneva.

He flew across the English Channel in September last year, going from Calais, France, to Dover, England.

This time the weather was of particular concern because Rossy had to fly over the spot where the Atlantic flows into the Mediterranean through the Strait of Gibraltar. This makes for high winds that can suddenly change direction, or blow in two directions at once at different altitudes, organizers said.

“We are very proud of him,” said Sterzel. “We are extremely satisfied with his attempt. If something is easy it’s not a challenge.”

———

On the Net

http://challenge.webtel.mobi/english/index.html

Just Posted

Red Deer ‘champion’ helps hospital by sharing ongoing petition

It’s been about three years since many physicians at Red Deer Regional… Continue reading

Weaker pump prices help inflation cool to 1.7%, the lowest reading in a year

OTTAWA — The annual pace of inflation slowed considerably last month to… Continue reading

Salt Lake City bids for 2nd Olympics in changed climate

SALT LAKE CITY — When Salt Lake City pursued the Winter Olympics… Continue reading

‘Here is my home:’ Refugee whose fingers froze off finds hope in Winnipeg

WINNIPEG — Razak Iyal still wakes up in the middle of the… Continue reading

Trudeau sees 2019 election as choice between positive Liberals, divisive Tories

OTTAWA — Justin Trudeau says he’s confident he’ll win re-election next fall… Continue reading

Alberta’s Sundial starts shipping to AGLC this week

Sundial’s Rocky View facility has received the green light from Health Canada… Continue reading

Maple Leafs among NHL teams facing cap crunches next year

There are questions Maple Leafs coach Mike Babcock won’t touch with a… Continue reading

MacMaster holiday concert billed as dementia-inclusive

TORONTO — A holiday concert by fiddlers Natalie MacMaster and Donnell Leahy… Continue reading

A journey through 2018’s top pop culture moments

And the top pop culture moments of 2018 are … Wait. WAS… Continue reading

Elon Musk unveils underground tunnel, offers rides to VIPs

LOS ANGELES — Elon Musk unveiled his underground transportation tunnel on Tuesday,… Continue reading

Penny Marshall dead at 75, best known as TV’s Laverne and director of ‘Big,’ ‘A League of Their Own’

Bronx-born Penny Marshall, who found ’70s sitcom success on “Laverne and Shirley”… Continue reading

Chabot scores overtime winner to lift Senators over Predators 4-3

OTTAWA — Thomas Chabot saw an opening and he took it. And… Continue reading

Canadian Marielle Thompson earns World Cup ski cross bronze in season opener

AROSA, Switzerland — Canada’s Marielle Thompson captured bronze at the opening World… Continue reading

Canada doesn’t make Oscars short list for best foreign language film

LOS ANGELES — Canada is no longer in the running for best… Continue reading

Most Read