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Daring ‘plane swap’ stunt becomes scary tailspin and crash

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Two stunt pilots that attempted a first-of-its-kind, mid-air “Plane Swap” are lucky to be in one piece after things backfired in the skies — sending one plane into a tailspin before crashing to the ground Sunday afternoon in Arizona.

The skydivers — cousins Luke Aikins and Andy Farrington — were trying to jump into each other’s planes while in mid-air — leaving both aircrafts unmanned — to then land in and pilot the other’s plane safely to the ground.

But things went south for the Red Bull sponsored flight after both Cessna 182 planes went into their parallel, intentional nosedives that allowed the pilots to leap out and begin their plunge.

The plane Farrington was jumping into quickly began spiraling out of control into a downward tailspin, becoming extremely inconsistent with the other plane’s altitude after the duo made their jumps.

“Blue plane is out of control!” someone yells on the live Hulu broadcast as both pilots continue free falling.

Although Aikins managed to successfully complete the stunt into his respective plane, Farrington was force to parachute to the ground as his new plane — which deployed a parachute — plummeted as well.

But even in that chaotic moment Farrington managed to keep cool, according to his partner.

“Andy’s fine, I could hear him talking to me in freefall,” Aikins said after touching down safely.

Although the stunt was a bust, pilots Luke Aikins and Andy Farrington were not hurt from their attempted "Plane Swap."
Although the stunt was a bust, pilots Luke Aikins and Andy Farrington were not hurt from their attempted “Plane Swap.”
Michael Clark/Red Bull Content P
Pilots Luke Aikins & Andy Farrington are seen skydiving during Plane Swap in Eloy, Arizona, USA, on April 24, 2022. // Keith Ladzinski / Red Bull Content Pool // SI202204250119 // Usage for editorial use only //
Pilots Luke Aikins and Andy Farrington are seen skydiving during the ill-fated “Plane Swap” above Eloy, Arizona on April 24, 2022.
Keith Ladzinski / Red Bull Content Pool

Despite the unsuccessful — yet injury free — attempt to become the first pilots to ever successfully skydive into each other’s planes, the duo stands by their preparation for the stunt.

“All the numbers matched up and everything like that,” Farrington said after reaching the ground.

“Everything should have been good to go, for some reason it wasn’t that way but at the end of the day we’re both here, we’re both good to go, everybody’s safe and sound and I guess that’s the important part.”

Pilot Luke Aikins is seen successfully entering the silver plane, during Plane Swap in Eloy, Arizona on April 24, 2022
Pilot Luke Aikins is seen successfully entering the silver plane, during “Plane Swap” on April 24.
Predrag Vuckovic / Red Bull Content Pool
Pilot Luke Aikins is seen successfully entering the silver plane
Pilot Luke Aikins is seen successfully entering the silver plane.
Predrag Vuckovic / Red Bull Content Pool

Though this may not be the last ever plane swap the two attempt as Aikins said, “we are going to go back and figure this out,” according to USA Today.

The Federal Aviation Administration announced an investigation into Sunday’s affair on Monday morning, also confirming that Farrington’s craft crashed to the ground, according to NBC News.

“The agency on Friday denied the organizer’s request for an exemption from Federal regulations that cover the safe operation of an aircraft.”

That NBC-obtained letter stated the exemption “would not be in the public interest” and that the FAA “cannot find that the proposed operation would not adversely affect safety.”



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