NEWPORT BEACH, CA -- A man determined to set the world record for lthe ongest jetpack flight set off from Newport Harbor this morning for a 26-mile journey to Catalina Island.
Dean O'Malley, president of JetLev Southwest, said he wanted to push the limits of what's possible.
"We've done plenty of flying in the harbor and some limited flying in the ocean, but there's been no one who's extended past those bounds to see if you truly can fly between Point A and Point B,” he said. “I'm expecting that it will be very manageable, but until we do it, it's just a guess. One hundred years ago, people thought Glenn Martin was crazy when he flew his sea plane from Newport to Catalina, now people fly all around the world every single day. Hopefully in a few years, jetpack flight won't be such an unbelievable concept, and people may actually be using it as a viable means of transportation. "
The professional banker and financial consultant, who is also an avid snowboarder, kitesurfer and cliff jumper, enjoys testing his "own personal bounds". And the Catalina flight is a perfect example of that., he said.
"The crossing is going to be tough, but with the proper preparation, most risks can be lessened to a reasonable level," said O'Malley.
Preparation for the flight included additional upper body work outs in the gym along with lots of flying time in both the harbor and the ocean, with the longest ride totaling 2.5 hours and about 15 miles.