Skydivers survive midair swap stunt in Arizona that ends in plane crash
Apr 25, 2022, 8:56 AM | Updated: 9:23 am
(Screenshot via Red Bull Facebook)
PHOENIX – A midair stunt between two planes above the Arizona desert went wrong Sunday with one plane crashing, but no one was injured.
Cousins Andy Farrington and Luke Aikins attempted to become the first to sky dive and land in each other’s airborne planes but the trick half-failed near Eloy.
Red Bull, which sponsored the event and livestreamed it, posted video of part of the performance.
The two Cessna 182 planes each made a controlled vertical descent. Both men jumped, with Aikins reaching the aircraft his cousin had left. That plane touched down safely.
Farrington, however, didn’t reach the other plane. It crashed but he parachuted down without harm.
Audio picked up someone asking worriedly, “You safe, Andy? You safe?”
Farrington calmly replied, “Yep, I’m all good.”
Red Bull said prior to the jump the planned feat had undergone hours of research and development to ensure success.
The Federal Aviation Administration said it denied an organizer’s request for an exemption from regulations that require people operating planes to be at crew-members stations and wear safety belts.
The FAA said the event’s organizer said the exemption was in the public interest because it would promote aviation and encourage students to pursue careers in science, technology, engineering and math. But the agency concluded such an exemption wouldn’t be in the public interest.
An investigation is ongoing.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.