Not everyone is wringing hands today


Let’s step back from the ledge for a few minutes, just long enough to remember that it’s still OK to have a little fun.

For sheer, gee-I-wish-I-could-do-that-if-I-weren’t-so-chicken daydreaming, nothing fits the bill better than Yves Rossy, who jumped out of an airplane over France this morning, and landed about 13 minutes later in England.

He wore a jetpack-powered wing on his back:

Rossy’s wing was made from carbon composite. It weighs about 121 pounds when loaded with fuel and carried four kerosene-burning jet turbines. The contraption has no steering devices. Rossy, a commercial airline pilot by training, wiggled his body back and forth to control the wing’s movements.

He wore a heat-resistant suit similar to that worn by firefighters and racing drivers to protect him from the heat of the turbines. The cooling effect of the wind and high altitude also prevented him from getting too warm.

Why? What the heck! Why not? It beats sitting around watching the 401K free-fall.


  • Heather

    He looks happy! I would totally wet myself.

    Bob, if you were flying into the New Richmond airport, would you be able to see a 2 year old standing in a driveway waving at you about 4 miles southwest of town?

  • Bob Collins

    If it were me? No, because I’d be focused pretty much on the big hunk of asphalt filling my windshield. (g)

    It’s very difficult to pick out anything from the air, there’s just so much clutter on the ground. It would be difficult even flying directly over the house, because it’s hard to pick out the right house.

  • Heather

    Heh heh. Thanks.

    My daughter has been waving at all the small planes recently, and I was just wondering. Sometimes they ARE right over our house. I’m not going tell her, though — she is really enjoying herself!

  • Bob Collins

    Have her start waving when the plane is about 45 degrees off the horizon and there’s a good chance you can get a wing-wag out of the pilot. For planes that are heading right over your house, it’s very difficult for the pilot to see anything on the ground within a mile.

    Best tip: Wear white and have a green background, like a field.

    Next time I’m up, I’ll let you know, you can send me your address and I’ll come on over. Better still, I’ll give you a ride.