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JetMan' Plans Flight Over Grand Canyon


"a jet-propelled wingsuit"

HUALAPAI INDIAN RESERVATION, Ariz. (AP) — "JetMan" has soared over the Swiss Alps and rocketed above the English Channel. Next flight — the Grand Canyon.

But Swiss daredevil Yves Rossy's plan to use Arizona's massive gorge as a backdrop for his first U.S. flight in a jet-propelled wingsuit hinges on approval from the Federal Aviation Administration.

The agency sent Rossy a letter late last week outlining what he needed to do to make that happen and said Thursday that it still was reviewing the proposal to make sure it meets safety standards.

A decision is expected Friday morning — the same day as the planned stunt.

The FAA said it never has been asked to evaluate anything similar to Rossy's jetsuit, nor does it fit neatly into any category. In the April 28 letter to Rossy, the FAA said it became aware of his plans through public reports.

Rossy, who calls himself the "JetMan," has talked about soaring over the Grand Canyon for years. If he gets the green light, the 51-year-old adventurer will jump from a helicopter on the Hualapai reservation near Eagle Point — a rock formation that resembles the bird.

He'll fly westward along the rim of the canyon, using only his body to steer and his eyes to navigate. The flights typically range from six to 13 minutes before he runs out of fuel and opens up a parachute.

Rossy will have a 360-degree view of the multicolored chasm as he flies 4,000 feet above the Colorado River.

The aviation world has kept a close watch on Rossy, a former fighter pilot who has flown over the Swiss Alps and the English Channel. While jetpacks and hang gliders have taken to the skies, "this one is a bit unusual," said Dick Knapinski, spokesman for the Experimental Aircraft Association.

"It's such a unique design and a unique pursuit that it doesn't fall in the usual categories," he said.

The Hualapai Reservation is known for the Grand Canyon Skywalk, a glass bridge that extends 70 feet from the canyon's rim and gives visitors a view of the river. The reservation lies west of Grand Canyon National Park.

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