Pilot certificates revoked after botched mid-air stunt

Pilot certificates revoked after botched mid-air stunt

The licenses of two pilots were revoked by the Federal Aviation Administration last month after a failed mid-air stunt in Arizona, officials said this week.

On April 24, no one was injured when daredevil pilots Luke Aikins and Andy Farrington tried jumping out of separate planes into other craft to land them.

According to the FAA, the pilot certificates of the two pilots involved in the unauthorized Red Bull plane swap stunt were revoked on April 24, 2022 in Arizona.

The attempted stunt resulted in the crash of one of the two single-engine Cessna 182 aircraft. The FAA denied the lead pilot an exemption for the stunt, which was requested by the lead pilot. The pair had tried to send their Cessna 182 planes into synchronized nosedives at 14,000 feet before they jumped out to switch aircraft.

The planes were supposed to fall in tandem and allow Aikins and Farrington, who are also skydivers, to jump from their planes and into the other craft in a stunt that Red Bull billed as a first and livestreamed on Hulu.

One of the planes exploded out of control and crashed in Eloy, Arizona, only to Aikins getting in the other craft while Farrington was forced to parachute.

The FAA and the stunt's lead pilot, Aikins, said the attempt could have only gone forward with the agency granting an exemption.

After the failed stunt, Aikins admitted in a statement posted on Instagram that his request to the FAA had been denied, and he went ahead with it anyway.

Aikins said he made the decision to move forward with the plane swap because of the FAA denial on April 22. Aikins said I regret not sharing this information with my team and those who supported me. I am working with the regulatory authorities to be transparent as I review the planning and execution. In notices sent to the two pilots on Tuesday, the FAA told both airmen that they were careless or reckless in order to endanger the life or property of another during the April 24 stunt.

The pilots could apply for reinstatement in a year.

Aikins, who was fined $4,932, and a representative of Red Bull, could not be reached for comment on Thursday. It is not known if Farrington was fined.

Farrington told NBC News that they were not available to comment on that, but hopefully they will be able to do that soon, so we're not available to comment on that.