Pilots attempt ‘plane swap’ while skydiving
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Luke Aikins, 48, and Andy Farrington, 39, tried to swap planes mid-air in the skydiving stunt, which has never been completed successfully. One of the planes nosedived and crashed to the ground but, somehow, both brave pilots – who are cousins – escaped without serious injury last week.
The cousins were to fly the Cessna planes, sponsored by Red Bull, leap out of them and then freefall into the other jet, Daily Star reports.
While the stunt started well, seeing the men leap out of the aircraft and following a pre-prepared formation, Aikin’s plane soon lost control and nosedived to the ground.
Mr Aikin’s plane tipped over the planned 90 degree dive, leaving Farrington with no plane to commandeer.
Mr Farrington thankfully abandoned his plans of commandeering the failing aircraft and instead parachuted safely to the ground, while his cousin commandeered the remaining plane.
Mr Farrington said: “It just went and instead of stopping in that 90-degree dive, it just kept going and got over on his back. It was just not a chance.”
Mr Aikins said: “I thought I left Andy a good plane. I’m trying to think of what else I could have done to make it better for him when I left. We do what we can to prepare for this stuff and we hope it never happens.
“This is the best outcome of a bummer situation, really. You’re just happy everybody’s here and good and all that stuff, but just disappointed.”
The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) says it did not grant a safety permit for the stunt livestreamed on streaming platform Hulu.
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