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FAA suspended licenses of two pilots involved in RedBull plane swap’s incident

The FAA revoked the licenses of two pilots for their “careless” and “reckless” conduct during a failed midair stunt last month in Arizona.

No one was injured April 24 when daredevil pilots Luke Aikins and Andy Farrington tried to jump out of separate planes into the other to land them.

“The attempted stunt resulted in the crash of one of the two single-engine Cessna 182 aircraft,” the FAA said in a statement. “The lead pilot requested an exemption for the stunt from the FAA, which the agency denied.”

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, allowing Aikins and Farrington, who are also skydivers, time to jump from their planes and into the other in a stunt that Red Bull billed as a “world first” and which was livestreamed on Hulu.

But one of the planes spiraled out of control and crashed in Eloy, Arizona, leading to only 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 gone forward only with an exemption from the agency. Days after the failed stunt, Aikins admitted in a statement on Instagram that the FAA had denied his request — and that he went ahead with it anyway.

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