Swiss daredevil Yves Rossy, 51, was scheduled to jump out of a helicopter near Eagle Point and, using his homemade jet-propelled wingsuit, fly west along the rim of the Grand Canyon this morning. He pimped the event for weeks. People headed to the Canyon to watch. He even got the FAA to approve his flight -- which dominated headlines across the country this morning. But the flight never happened, and we're calling BS.
Rossy canceled his death-defying stunt this morning, citing a lack of training.
"If I do a mistake and half of U.S. television [is here], it's really bad for you, for me, for everybody," Rossy told the Associated Press this morning -- after he'd gone to the Grand Canyon, sought the approval of the FAA, and had a helicopter on standby ready to drop him out of the sky.
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It may come as a shock to Rossy, but the Grand Canyon didn't form this morning. In other words, he had to know before coming to Arizona what he was getting himself into as he seduced local -- and eventually national -- media outlets (New Times included) into reporting on the faux-flight with tales of soaring above the state's most famous landmark.
Rossy's apparently been chattering about flying over the Grand Canyon for years, which makes his claim that he didn't know that he'd have to "train" even more fantastic.
If you ask us, one of two things happened: Rossys got to the Grand Canyon and said "wow, this is a really fucking stupid idea," or, more likely, the whole buildup to today's flight-that-wasn't was just a ploy to get even more people to talk about it in hopes of capturing an even bigger audience when he actually tries to fly over the Grand Canyon.
We'll let you know if he plans another flight -- hopefully one that actually takes place.