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Daredevil Plane Swap Stunt Goes Horribly Wrong

Daredevil Plane Swap Stunt Goes Horribly Wrong

Things took a disastrous turn in Arizona on Sunday when two pilots attempted the first ever ‘plane swap’

Things took a disastrous turn in Arizona on Sunday when two pilots attempted the first ever ‘plane swap’.

Armed with nothing but a parachute, high-flying cousins Luke Aikins and Andy Farrington attempted to swap planes at 12,100 feet, in what would have been an aviation first. 

But the situation quickly deteriorated, with Aikins’ plane spiralling out of control and almost colliding with the other plane as Farrington confirmed over the radio: “Blue plane is out of control.”

He was forced to deploy his parachute and could be seen falling to the ground in captured footage.

Take a look at the nail-biting moment below:

Thankfully, no one was injured during the daredevil stunt, orchestrated by Red Bull, but the clip will certainly hoist your BPM.

Aikins and Farrington took off at around 5:45 p.m. local time on Sunday and cruised the Arizona skies for almost an hour before launching themselves from their planes after engaging an airbrake system.

According to USA Today, Aikins’ plane was also kitted out with a parachute that automatically activated at a certain altitude, in turn lessening its impact with the ground. 

Speaking in the aftermath of the near-miss, Farrington said there ‘wasn’t a chance’ the plane swap could have taken place once the aircraft started spiralling. 

The two planes almost collided after the stunt went horribly wrong.
Red Bull/Discovery+

"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," he said, as per USA Today.

"You're just happy everybody's here and good and all that stuff, but just disappointed," Farrington added.

Pointing to the planes’ custom-made air brakes, which were key to the stunt’s smooth-running, Aikins said they were tested beforehand but the plane’s loss of centre of gravity may have caused it to nosedive. 

"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," he said. 

Aikins and Farrington took off at 5:45 p.m. local time in Arizona.

"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."

As for a do-over, Aikins confirmed ‘we are going to go back and figure this out’.

The planes’ air brakes were designed with the help of Paulo Iscold, an engineer and professor at California Polytechnic State University.

Tested ‘multiple’ times in San Luis Obispo airspace, the brakes mean the planes could ‘slow down’ while travelling at speeds reaching 140mph.

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Featured Image Credit: Red Bull/Discovery+

Topics: Sport, US News