Breitling’s “Jetman” Makes Historic Flight At Grand Canyon West


  Bookmark and Share

Breitling’s “Jetman” Makes Historic Flight At Grand Canyon West

By Mike Mitchell

May 11, 2011 - It was his date with destiny, and ultimately the uniquely complex certification process could not prevent Yves “Jetman” Rossy from making his historic flight through Grand Canyon West this past weekend.  

Flying his jet-propelled wing attached to his back, and steering only by movement of his body, Rossy launched from a helicopter at 8,000 feet into the breathtaking blue of the Grand Canyon sky.  

Skimming the rockscape at speeds of up to 190 mph, Jetman sustained flight for more than eight minutes, 200 feet above the rim of Grand Canyon West. To end the flawless precision flight, Rossy deployed his parachute and gracefully descended to the canyon floor.  

An earlier flight scheduled for Friday, May 6 was cancelled when final FAA certification was held up due to the difficulty in classifying Mr. Rossy’s one of a kind jet powered wing. By the time the process was complete, sufficient practice flights were unable to occur prior to the scheduled 9 a.m. flight.

“My first flight in the U.S. is sure to be one of the most memorable experiences in my life, not only for the sheer beauty of the Grand Canyon but the honor to fly in sacred Native American lands,” Rossy stated. “Thank you Mother Nature and the Hualapai Tribe for making my lifelong dreams come true.”  

Jetman has already won global acclaim for his successful jet-powered flights cross Lake Geneva and the English Channel. But this was the first time he had ever achieved his dream of flying in the purest sense in the U.S. and his choice of the Grand Canyon, where eagles soar, reflected the deep significance of the site both to Rossy and to the resident Hualapai people.  

According to Ben Balmer, of Breitling, “The power, passion and precision of flight inspire all of us at Breitling, and we are delighted to help Yves Rossy to achieve his dream of pure flight at Grand Canyon West. Yves is a true pioneer and a wonderful ambassador for Breitling’s values.”  

Léon Breitling founded the company in 1884 in St. Imier, Switzerland. Breitling has long been associated with the world of aviation when they placed onboard chronographs in fighter planes from the Royal Air Force WWII to sponsoring the first round-the-world balloon flight in 1999.


Breitling is the only watch brand to equip all of its models with chronometer-certified movements the ultimate token of precision. In 2009, the company introduced a 100 percent in-house movement, the Caliber 01, the most reliable, high-performance self-winding chronograph movement.

Breitling’s passion for aviation and flight is evidenced through its support of “Jetman”, the Breitling Jet Team, Breitling Wingwalkers, the Breitling Orbiter 3 (first hot air balloon to circle the globe), Reno Air Races, and many others including its partnership with pilot and actor John Travolta.

Other News Stories (For the latest news please checkout our home page)


Home Aviation News Aviation Stories Of Interest FAA Exam Upcoming Events Links To Other Sites General Aviation Helicopters Medical Factors Facing Pilots
Maintenance and Aircraft Mechanics Hot Air Balloon Aviation Training Handbooks Read Online Aviation History Legal Issues In Aviation Sea Planes Editorials
 ©AvStop Online Magazine                                                                 Contact Us                                                  Return To News                                          Bookmark and Share


AvStop Aviation News and Resource Online Magazine

Grab this Headline Animator