Frank Zapata, jetpack inventor, in horror crash as he loses control

Frank Zapata, jetpack inventor, in horror crash as he loses control. Credit Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0

The former jet-ski champion, Frank Zapata, crashed into a lake in Biscarrosse, France, on his ‘flyboard’ device yesterday, Saturday May 28, according to the French paper, Sud Ouest.

Zapata was performing at an international seaplane meeting which is taking place throughout the weekend.

Shortly after 2pm, as he had just launched his flyboard – a flying machine that this 40 year old self-taught jetskier invented himself – Frank Zapata apparently lost control of the aircraft.

He was seen soaring into the air up to around 15 metres when he lost control and plunged into the lake.

According to witnesses on the scene, after falling in the water, he was quickly rescued by the crew of a boat and handed to the care of the fire brigade and members of the Civil Security. He was seen moving his hand at the time of his rescue and was conscious.

According to the emergency services, he had “good sensitivity and motor skills”. He was then rushed to the Arcachon health centre, as an emergency, for a further assessment.

Zapata is the inventor of the jetpack and became the first person in history to successfully cross the English Channel on a kerosene-powered board in 2019.

He started his journey from Sangatte beach, in Calais, at 7.16am, travelling 35 kilometres across the channel to the White Cliffs of Dover.

Dozens of spectators cheered him on, including his wife, Krystel, in his second attempt at the magnificent feat.

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Anna Ellis

Originally from Derbyshire, Anna has lived in the middle of nowhere north of Alicante on the Costa Blanca with her family for 19 years. She is passionate about her animal family including four dogs and four horses, musicals and cooking. Anna is a news writer for the EWN Media Group taking particular interest in the Costa Blanca South area and Almeria. Share your story with her by emailing