F.A.A. Investigating Crash After Midair Pilot-Swapping Stunt

The Federal Aviation Administration stated on Monday that it was investigating a crash after a stunt that referred to as for 2 pilots to parachute from nose-diving planes and swap cockpits in midair.

Nobody was injured on Sunday within the stunt, which featured the pilots and skydivers Luke Aikins and Andy Farrington flying over the desert in Eloy, Ariz., about 50 miles northwest of Tucson. That they had deliberate to ship their single-engine Cessna 182 planes into tandem nosedives at 14,000 ft after which soar out midair to modify planes.

One of many pilots landed safely by parachute as his aircraft spun uncontrolled and crashed, the F.A.A. stated in an announcement. The opposite pilot regained management of his aircraft and landed safely. The F.A.A. didn’t specify which of the pilots landed by parachute.

Crimson Bull, the energy-drink firm, organized the occasion, which it called “Plane Swap” and a “first-of-its-kind soar.” The stunt was streamed stay by Hulu, a associate within the occasion, which had no spectators current. Crimson Bull and Hulu didn’t instantly reply to inquiries on Monday.

The F.A.A. stated that it had denied a request for an exemption from federal rules that cowl the protected operation of an plane. Within the request, Mr. Aikins sought the exemption as a result of “in the course of the swap, each plane will probably be unoccupied.”

In a reply, dated April 22 and signed by Robert C. Carty, the deputy govt director for flight requirements service on the F.A.A., the company stated that granting an exemption “wouldn’t be within the public curiosity” and that the company couldn’t “discover that the proposed operation wouldn’t adversely have an effect on security.”

Mr. Aikins and Mr. Farrington are cousins and third-generation pilots who usually fly in formation and have accomplished greater than 5,000 jumps collectively, Red Bull said.

Crimson Bull stated the boys grew up on an airfield, “jumped as a lot as potential” and each took their first solo flights on the age of 16.

For the stunt, which was a yr within the making, the planes had been geared up with custom-built autopilot techniques so they may stay on the right trajectory. The planes had been additionally fitted with a pace brake and bigger wheels to gradual the speed of descent and be certain that the skydivers may catch as much as the planes, Crimson Bull stated.

As soon as the pilots entered the nosedives and switched their engines off to stall in midair, the autopilot would have interaction, Crimson Bull stated. The boys deliberate to skydive to 2,000 ft above the bottom earlier than entering into the opposite aircraft, Crimson Bull stated.

It’s not the primary time that Mr. Aikins has drawn media consideration for his skydiving exploits. In 2016, he was the first person ever to aim a skydive with neither a parachute nor a wingsuit.

His dive, which was broadcast stay on Fox, started at an altitude of 25,000 ft, simply 4,000 ft wanting the summit of Mount Everest. He landed on a web lower than half the scale of a soccer discipline.