Dubai (AFP)

The "flying man" Vince Reffet, author of spectacular feats with his Soul Flyers sidekick Fred Fugen in wingsuit or jetman flight (equipped with mini reactors), died Tuesday in an accident during a training, declared a spokesperson for Jetman Dubai.

36-year-old Vince Reffet was known to have entered a mid-air plane in 2017, but also to have soared from the tallest tower in the world, the Burj Khalifa (828m) in Dubai, flying at alongside an Emirates A380 or alongside the Patrouille de France in 2016.

"It is with unimaginable sadness that we announce the death of Jetman pilot Vincent (Vince) Reffet, who died this morning, November 17, during training in Dubai," the spokesperson told AFP. word of Jetman Dubai, Abdallah ben Habtour.

“Vince was a talented athlete, and a much loved and respected member of our team. Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family and to all who knew and worked with him,” he added.

The accident, which occurred at the Jetman base in the desert on the outskirts of the city, is currently under investigation, said Abdullah bin Habtour.

The exploits of the sportsman, a former member of the French skydiving team and associated for 20 years with Fugen (41), went viral at the start of the year, with a video of him taking off from the ground and taking off at 1,800 meters above sea level, a world first.

To achieve this feat, Vince Reffet had been fitted with a carbon fiber wing powered by four mini jet engines.

Controlled by the human body, the equipment enables the Jetman to reach speeds of 400 km / h, hover, change direction and perform loops.

The Jetman Dubai team also includes a UAE apprentice pilot, Ahmed Al Shehhi.

"It's something unique, there are three of us in the world (...) There is everything to do, everything we do is a new thing", Vince Reffet was delighted in an interview with AFP in October.

"We have so many dreams and life is so short," said the youngest of the Soul Flyers.

With his sidekick Fred Fugen, Vince Reffet had also crossed the famous Gate of Heaven at the end of 2019 - an opening 130 m high and 30 m wide, in the mountainous park of Mount Tianmen, located in the province of Hunan, in the south. from China.

© 2020 AFP