Jet-pack pilot Nick Macomber has been "blown away by Auckland" - and he's seen the city in a way that few have.

Macomber, from San Diego in California, took off from Bayswater Marina yesterday on a test flight before the CRC Speed Show this weekend at the ASB Showgrounds, where he, his team and their back-from-the-future mode of transport will be star attractions.

He was in the air only a short time and wasn't travelling too quickly, as the aim of the flight was to enable photographers to catch him posing in front of Auckland's other sky-high attraction.

Promoter Andy Pine said he'd been working for six years to get the jet-pack team to New Zealand.


But yesterday's flight wasn't without its challenges.

"We had to source some bits and pieces, and up until the last minute we weren't sure if it was going to come off," said Mr Pine.

The jet pack was "rocket technology, basically". But it wasn't a rocket with "flames shooting out" because it was powered by a chemical reaction at high speed.

"It's lifting him, and whichever way he points his body is where it goes," Mr Pine said.

Yesterday's flight was the first time Macomber had felt he was posing, as opposed to flying quickly," Mr Pine said. "[He said] it's like riding a bicycle. It's amazing how much control he has over it."

Macomber flew out over the water but couldn't muck around because he had only 20 seconds of air-time.

"You don't want to fly 11 seconds out," Mr Pine said, "because you'll end up wet."