Red Bull’s ‘Plane Swap’ Stunt Goes Wrong As One Of The Planes Crashed To The Ground

Two stunt pilots who tried a first-of-its-kind mid-air “Plane Swap” are lucky to be alive when things went wrong in the skies, sending one plane into a spiral before falling to the ground on Sunday afternoon in Arizona.

The skydivers, cousins Luke Aikins and Andy Farrington, were attempting to leap into each other’s planes in mid-air, leaving both planes unmanned, to land and safely pilot the other’s plane to the ground. However, things went wrong for the Red Bull-sponsored trip when both Cessna 182 planes went into parallel, planned nosedives, allowing the pilots to leap out and begin their dive.

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 //

After the couple made their dives, the plane Farrington was diving into immediately began spinning out of control into a downward tailspin, becoming exceedingly inconsistent with the other plane’s height.

While Aikins successfully completed the trick in his own plane, Farrington was forced to parachute to the earth as his new plane, which also deployed a parachute, plunged. But, despite the chaos, according to his partner, Farrington managed to retain his calm.

Besides the pair’s failed but injury-free effort to become the first pilots ever successfully to jump into each other’s planes, they stand by their preparation for the feat.

Pilot Luke Aikins is seen successfully entering the silver plane

“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.”

Red Bull Air Force member Luke Aikins poses for a portrait while practicing for the "Plane Swap" on March 8, 2022.

According to reports, this may not be the last plane swap the two attempts, as Aikins stated, “We will go back and figure this out.”

The Federal Aviation Administration announced an inquiry into Sunday’s incident on Monday morning and confirmed that Farrington’s plane fell to the ground.

“On Friday, the FAA denied the organiser’s request for an exemption from Federal regulations regulating aircraft safety.” The exemption “would not be in the public interest,” and the FAA “cannot find that the proposed operation would not adversely affect safety.”

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