French pilot and acrobat Vincent “Vince” Reffet, part of the Jetman team, died at age 36 after an accident during training. The confirmation came through the company’s own website, based in Dubai.
“It is with unimaginable sadness that we announce the passing of Jetman pilot Vincent (Vince) Reffet. (…) Vince was a talented athlete and a very loved and respected member of our team. Our thoughts and prayers are with the family and with everyone who met and worked with him, “says the statement.
Jetman will investigate with the authorities what caused the accident, but did not detail exactly what Reffet was practicing. The pilot’s last major act with worldwide repercussions was a flight at 1,800 meters high in the city of the United Arab Emirates, confirming the improvements in the suit, now capable of taking off vertically without the need to jump from an airplane.
Headquartered in Dubai, the company is responsible for producing a kind of carbon fiber flight uniform, using jetpacks on the wings. The most famous driver on the team is Yves Rossi, who since 2006 has been carrying out tests with power packs. Both went on to perform double shows in the skies of the region.
Reffet was the son of parachutists and became famous performing jumps before joining Jetman, in 2015. He was one of the first qualified to use the suit in addition to Rossi.