'Jetman' Rossy Ditches In Africa-Europe Attempt

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Yves Rossy, the Swiss pilot who has set numerous records flying a pair of eight-foot-long carbon-fiber wings propelled by four jet-fueled microturbines, ended up in the chilly North Atlantic Ocean on Wednesday while attempting to fly from Morocco to Spain. A helicopter arrived on the scene and within less than 15 minutes Rossy was rescued, unharmed. He later told the press he was foiled by descending air that was pushing him toward the sea, while flying at about 2,500 feet. "Unstable at this height, that's no playing any more," he said. "So I did throw away the wing and opened my parachute." The flight across the Strait of Gibraltar, about 24 miles, was supposed to take about 15 minutes, but the ditching occurred just five minutes after launch. Rossy will probably try again sometime next year, according to news reports. "He is a man of courage," said Stuart Sterzel, one of the sponsors of the attempt. "He will get up and dust himself off." The wing and engines were expected to be retrieved from the sea.

Click here for a brief video of the attempt and the rescue. Rossy successfully flew across the English Channel last year. He jumped from a Pilatus at 8,000 feet and covered the 22 miles in just over 9 and a half minutes.