Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 26 November 2020

Sheikh Hamdan leads tributes to Jetman Vince Reffet after training accident death

The Crown Prince shared a picture of himself with the French daredevil

Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed, Crown Prince of Dubai, led tributes for Vince Reffet, a French Jetman who died in a training accident in Dubai on Tuesday.

A keen follower of the Jetman team throughout their development, Sheikh Hamdan posted the message “We will miss you” on his Instagram page.

The simple, poignant message was added to hundreds of other words of support for the XDubai team of which Reffet, 36, was a member.

Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed, Crown Prince of Dubai, posts a tribute to Vince Reffet on his Instagram stories. Courtesy: Faz3
Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed, Crown Prince of Dubai, posts a tribute to Vince Reffet on his Instagram stories. Courtesy: Faz3

The Jetmen, who performed groundbreaking stunts above Dubai using jetpacks and carbon-fibre wings, announced Reffet's death on Tuesday night.

"It is with unimaginable sadness that we announce the passing of Jetman Pilot, Vincent (Vince) Reffet, who died this morning, 17 November, during training in Dubai," Jetman Dubai said in a statement on Instagram.

"Vince was a talented athlete, and a much-loved and respected member of our team. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and all those who knew and worked with him.

"We are working closely with all relevant authorities and ask that you please keep Vince's family in your thoughts and prayers."

The accident, which happened at Reffet's Jetman base in the desert outside the city, is now under investigation.

The Jetmen have carried out several dramatic flights in Dubai over the years.

In February, Sheikh Hamdan commended the team for reaching the major milestone of a 100 per cent autonomous human flight.

A YouTube video showed footage of a Jetman pilot hovering and performing aerobatics at high altitude in Dubai.

“A major milestone in the quest to achieve 100 per cent autonomous human flight. Well done, boys,” he wrote.

Reffet worked with Swiss former military pilot Yves Rossy, who invented the carbon-fibre Jetman pack.

The Jetman team also includes fellow Frenchman Fred Fugen and Emirati pilot Ahmed Al Shehhi.

Updated: November 18, 2020 01:04 PM

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