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FAA investigating plane-swap stunt near Eloy that ended in a crash

Published: Tuesday, April 26, 2022 - 3:11pm
Updated: Tuesday, April 26, 2022 - 3:45pm

Authorities were investigating the crash of one of two planes that were part of a Red Bull stunt in which two pilots attempted to swap planes in mid-air over the Arizona desert on Sunday evening.

Pilots Luke Aikens and Andy Farrington attempted to jump into the other’s plane mid-flight. One of the planes spun out of control before Farrington could take over, forcing him to parachute back down.

Authorities say the plane crashed near Eloy, roughly 65 miles southeast of downtown Phoenix.

"All the numbers matched up, everything should have been good to go," Farrington said. "For some reason, it wasn't that way. But, at the end of the day, we're both here, we're both good to go. Everybody's safe and sound, and I guess that's the important part."

Aikens managed to land his plane safely.        

“I mean, we proved that it was possible. I mean, we’re pushing boundaries out here," Aikens said. "And what’s great is I jumped from one, I got in the other one, we landed. I landed safely. Andy landed safely under a parachute, the plane landed under a parachute. All of our safety protocols worked.”

The crash sparked a Federal Aviation Administration investigation. The FAA had rejected a waiver of laws requiring pilots to man their planes at all times from Aikens and Farrington two days before the stunt.

Associated Press contributed to this report.

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