Daredevil pilots attempt plane swap midair, FAA investigating | USA TODAY

Daring pilots attempted to swap planes mid-flight for the first time, resulting in a crash that the Federal Aviation Administration is investigating.

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Aviation history will have to wait, but disaster was avoided.

Two cousins, Luke Aikins and Andy Farrington, were unsuccessful in completing the first "plane swap" Sunday night over the Arizona skies when one plane spiraled out of control as the two pilots were thousands of feet in the air.

Both pilots were safe with no reported injuries, according to Red Bull.

The Red Bull-sponsored flight, which took place over Eloy, around 50 miles southeast of Phoenix, began as the two pilots ascended to the skies at about 5:45 p.m. local time.

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  1. Leaving an aircraft to operate on it’s own is against the law. Planes can’t be in command of themselves. No pilot means no way to control. It’s a no-brainer. Next time, they need to leave a 2nd person in planes and in command just in case. Let me know in advance, it would be fun to be in 3rd plane taking video.

    1. @Uplifted Motivated their ‘autopilot’ failed on 2nd aircraft. It could have crashed anywhere, killing people, and damaging property. I’m no legal expert, but the FAA is not happy with stunt at all.

    2. Yeah why dont you be the guy sitting idly while a plane is nosediving from 30,000 feet in the air?

    3. @Steven Rohrich Obviously they did this over a completely deserted area, they aren’t idiots…it was sponsored by Red bull, it wasn’t just some random kids attempting this..

    4. @Russell Phelan yes I understand. They did their homework. However, FAA is not happy. I hope they repeat the stunt, leave a backup pilot in right hand seat just in case. I would love to see them succeed.

      I love flying, and many others do too. Their stunt was similar to 007 movie Bond free falls (no chute) to catch up with a plane in nosedive without a pilot. If he didn’t catch plane, he would die. Stunt man had good chute under his jacket out of sight of cameras. Amazing movie stunt.

  2. ok, that was freaking cool. Really stupid and irresponsible and they can and should lose their licenses over it, but cool.

  3. If this took place in the US under FAA jurisdiction, how is this made for youtube “stunt” any different than what Trevor Jakob did last year?
    Will the pilots here lose their flying privileges like Jakob did a month ago?
    Same result, an intentionally pilotless out of control airplane crashing wherever it wanted.
    Two pilotless out of control planes had the stunt failed completely.
    The one common thing about youtube is turning people into idiots.

  4. The marketing team would call that a HUGE SUCCESS! Far more eyeballs watching a crash than a successful switch.

    1. yeah i was going to say it almost worked and no one was injured i mean for the first time that was not bad.

  5. Both aircraft were on “modified” auto-pilot when the men jumped. FAA would not approve the stunt which was attempted anyway. Although they probably broke about a dozen federal laws and I’m sure they will be dragged into a courtroom at some point I can’t help but admire their spirit. Doing something that seems impossible is the realm of the adventurous, a little of that should be nurtured in all of us. Operating on the edge of what’s possible and what isn’t got NASA to the moon, put Robert Peary at the North Pole and Hillary and Norgay at the summit of Everest. Really enjoyed this, it made my day, thanks for posting.

    1. I think they should be fine in the end though since they are under Red Bull. It’ll be interesting to see what happens but I think they’ll be fine since red Bull is such a large company. But you never know especially with a crazy stunt like that!

  6. Jacobs lost his license, and since Red Bull seems to think this is super-cool behavior , decided to give it a try ! Now the question is do we have guts to prosecute stunts as the threat they are? Btw thanks for increasing the negative oversight this will no doubt engender!🤬

  7. Trevor Jacobs just had his license pulled for jumping out of a perfectly good airplane… these guys couldn’t have picked a worse time to try this stunt if they wanted to. They’re screwed, glued, and tattooed.

  8. Redbull should be sued by the FAA and both pilots should lose their pilot certificates forever

  9. Redbull should be sued by the FAA and both pilots should lose their pilot certificates forever

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