During the 1976 National Air Races at Mojave, a stuntman going by the nickname the “The Human Fly” appeared twice riding a DC-8.


The Human Fly rides atop a DC-8 on a short flight over the Mojave Desert.
(Art Rogers. Los Angeles Times.)

Standing on a flying DC-8 piloted by well-known pilot Clay Lacy, the “Human Fly” smiled and waved to the crowd below. Spectators looked up in amazement as cameras clicked away to capture this amazing stunt.

The “Human Fly,” wanted to prove he was the greatest daredevil that ever lived, and to prove it he rode on the top of a jetliner flying at speeds of more than 200 m.p.h. at 100 feet above ground. Not only once, but twice in one day.

Dressed in a red-and-white jumpsuit, white cape, red platform shoes and a mask, the ‘Human Fly” had his legs and chest strapped to the aeronautical brace atop the DC-8 jetliner. The brace was his only support during the 15-minute flight.

The Fly wants to remain anonymous because he doesn’t want to draw attention to himself,” said David Levin, his promotional agent at the time.

When the plane landed, the “Human Fly” was then rushed away for a medical check-up, before appearing before the press.

The Dc-8 banks slighty before the pass over the crowd. (Art Rodgers. Los Angeles Times.)

“It was a great feeling up there,” said the 29-year-old masked man. “I’m the greatest daredevil in the world.

“The only problem I had was with my helmet. A piece came off during the flight.” He said.

“I’m going to be around for a long while yet,” he added.

After the second flight on Sunday, June 20, 1976, the “Human Fly” performed one additional flight in Texas.

In 1977, he attempted a motorcycle jump over 26 buses at Montreal Olympic Stadium. He landed short, crashed and suffered several injuries.

The Human Fly — later identified as Rick Rojatt — retired and disappeared from public life. So this is not photoshop. This was real.

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