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OC Man To Attempt Jetpack Flight From Newport Beach To Catalina

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NEWPORT BEACH (CBSLA.com) — One OC man is planning to turn his dreams of using a jetpack to travel into reality.

Dean O’Malley, 36, will attempt the first-ever crossing of the channel between Newport Beach and Catalina Island with a water-powered jetpack strapped to his back.

A cross between parasailing and jetskiing, the jetpack will skim the water at more than 20 miles an hour. If O’Malley makes the 26-mile trek, it will be a world record.

“We’ve done a few miles, maybe an hour tops,” O’Malley said. “But the question we always get is how far can you go? Can you get from point A to point B?”

O’Malley plans to take off at sunrise on Sept. 29, to coincide with the 100-year anniversary of Glenn Martin’s historic flight over water from Newport to Catalina aboard this biplane. If he makes it, he hopes to land on the beach in Avalon during the island’s first airshow.

The journey will be a difficult one – most of O’Malley’s flying time has been over calm water, and the waters between Newport and Catalina are anything but.

“When you are flying in the waves, you are constantly adjusting up and down,” he said. “So it’s almost like doing shoulder raises two or three hours straight.”

O’Malley is already thinking beyond his flight to Catalina.

“Pardon the pun, but the skies the limit,” he said. “I think you could be flying to work in a few years.”

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