The 36-year-old died Monday, according to a brief statement from Jetman Dubai. The organization said he was killed “during training,” but did not provide further details.
“Vince was a talented athlete, and a much-loved and respected member of our team,” Jetman Dubai said. “We are working closely with all relevant authorities and ask that you please keep Vince’s family in your thoughts and prayers.”
Reffet was a Red Bull athlete and decorated skydiver known for his incredible aerial stunts. He flew alongside a jumbo jet in 2015, landed on another jet mid-flight in 2017 and executed a BASE jump off the world’s tallest tower, the Burj Khalifa, in 2014.
He came from a skydiving family and had over 20 years of experience.
His Instagram account is filled with videos of him performing stunts in a wingsuit and with a jetpack.
Reffet was a performer for Jetman Dubai, an organization that outfitted him with a four-engine jetpack attached to a carbon-Kevlar set of wings. The jetpack can fly a distance of 50 kilometres, go up to 6,100 metres high and has a maximum speed of over 400 kilometres per hour.
Under the brand of XDubai, which is associated with the crown prince of Dubai, Reffet and his fellow jetmen have flown past the Burj Khalifa and other sites around the city-state.
Reffet explained the thrill he gets from flying in an interview with the Associated Press in 2015.
“It’s the sensation of freedom,” Reffet said. “With this machine … I can fly like a bird.”
— With files from The Associated Press
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