Yves "JetMan" Rossy streaked over the Grand Canyon on Saturday morning, reaching 190 mph with just a 6½-foot wing and four jet engines on his back, according to a statement released Tuesday.
However, not one member of the media -- who had gathered the day before to watch him fly -- was there to witness the milestone of his first U.S. flight.
A Rossy spokesman said Saturday's flight was meant to be just training. The team had planned to make the Grand Canyon flight official on Monday or Tuesday in front of journalists after a few more training sessions over the weekend. However, the Saturday flight was all that Rossy could squeeze in between the 46 mph wind gusts dominating the weekend, said John Bishop of H5 Productions, a helicopter videography company that Rossy hired to record the event.
"It's like the heavens said, 'It's time to go,' " Bishop said.
Video captured from helicopters is the only proof of Saturday's impromptu flight 120 miles east of Las Vegas.
The Saturday flight began with Rossy stepping onto the skids of Bishop's helicopter, which ascended to 8,000 feet. Rossy then dropped off and fired his jets. Journalists were told at Friday's planned flight that they would be positioned at the edge of the canyon's cliff, and Rossy would buzz by at near eye level through the canyon.
However, Rossy stayed 200 feet above the Grand Canyon's rim on Saturday.
Even with a helicopter, Bishop said, trying to film the flight was a challenge.
"From the time he took off, he was like a mosquito," he said.
Rossy reportedly flew over the canyon for eight minutes before opening his parachute and descending to the canyon floor near the Colorado River.
Media from around the world gathered at Grand Canyon West's Guano Point on Friday morning -- the originally planned flight date -- to see the spectacle two years in the making. But Rossy stood before the media 30 minutes before his scheduled flight and announced its cancellation.
"Without training, I don't want to take the risk," Rossy told the media on Friday. "I hope you understand I'm a human, a human flying."
To prepare for Friday, Rossy had planned a half-dozen training flights through the canyon over the preceding days. However, he couldn't go up in the air even once because his wing wasn't certified by Federal Aviation Administration officials.
Rossy received FAA approval for the flight at 9 a.m. Friday. But he called it off anyway after two years of planning.
"This is the most challenging place I could fly," he said.
Rossy doesn't have any plans of returning to the Grand Canyon for a public flight as originally planned, spokeswoman Rachel Jones-Pittier said.
Rossy couldn't be reached for comment Tuesday.
Contact reporter Trevon Milliard at tmilliard@review journal.com or 702-383-0279.