The legendary French skydiver and BASE jumper Vincent Reffet has passed away during training exercises in Dubai. Vincent's name is most recognizable from his involvement in Soulflyers. He also gained mainstream media attention with his involvement with Yves ‘Jetman’ Rossy and the 'jet-pack'. In 2015, on the heels of extensive training Vincent was announced as Rossy's protégé where he would become the second person ever, aside from Rossy himself, to fly the jet-pack.
A true athlete, Vincent had mastered aerial flying and various disciplines to a level that few are able to. Outside of skydiving and BASE, he was also a wind tunnel instructor and speed rider pioneer. Together with his good friend Fred Fugen, who came from a similar background of skydiving, the two would go on to form a partnership that was well recognized in the industry for their accomplishments together.
At the time of his passing Reffet had amassed a number of accomplishments and records, both in the fields of skydiving and BASE jumping. His most noteworthy recent achievements, as sourced from his Soulflyers profile were:
2017 - Making history by flying into the open door of a Pilatus Porter in mid-air after BASE jumping from the summit of the Jungfrau in the Swiss Alps
2016 - The creation of the MUTANT swooping harness by UPT, a vision that Vince had for a decade prior.
2014 - A 33 000ft altitude mountain swoop (Mont Blanc) and BASE jumping from the world's tallest building (Burj Khalifa)
And this is to name but a few.
Vincent Ruffet was one of few in the sport who transcending the direct skydiving industry, with his achievements almost always being impressive enough to land in the mainstream news outlets and even an appearance on Conan. He became a recognized name for adrenaline junkies around the world.
We'd like to recognize his contributions by paying respect the best way we know how to, celebrating his life by reliving his accomplishments.
Born into a family of skydivers, the thirty-six-year-old Reffet had made his first skydive by the age of 16 and showed no signs of slowing down once he got started. Just two years after making his first jump he joined the French freefly team which was joined by Fred thereafter. Shortly after Fred had joined, the team went on to win the 2004 World Championships in the freefly category.
The rest of Vincent's life would go on to follow a similar formula, being unstoppable in the world of aerial sports, in many cases raising the bar and achieving what few thought possible. And he had achieved all this just within two decades of making his first jump.
The loss of Vincent Reffet is a loss for human flight and our thoughts go out to all his colleagues, friends, family as well as fans.
Read more about Vincent's life and achivements: