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Mon, Aug 15, 2022

Foolish Red Bull Plane Switch Stunt Gone Awry Gets NTSB Finding

Not Much To Say, NTSB Ignores The Many Questionable Actions Undertaken by Pilots

Last April's ill-advised TV stunt, under the PR guise of a Red Bull event, embarrassed the GA world to the extreme... and now the NTSB has had a few things to say about it... a very few things to say.

Mind you, the characters who put this stunt together broke a number of regs and were less than honest about the authorizations they claimed to have... but the NTSB has simply stuck to the facts and looked only into the aerodynamic issues involved in this aero-embarrassment. However; the FAA has had more to say about the issue.

The NTSB Noted that, "The accident airplane was part of an exhibition event, the goal of which was for two pilots to fly two similarly equipped airplanes in a vertical dive, after which they would simultaneously bail out and transfer to the other airplane. The pilot of one airplane was able to successfully transfer to the other airplane and land without incident, however, the other pilot could not enter the second airplane because it entered an inverted spin shortly after egress.

The pilot reported that he believed the airplane entered a spin due to the ballast that was added to offset the weight of the safety pilot. He added that the airplane was outfitted with a parachute system that was designed to trigger at an altitude of 1,000 ft, and deployed while the airplane was inverted, which resulted in it only being partially deployed when the airplane impacted the ground and was substantially damaged."

The NTSB opined that the Probable Cause and Findings, ... "determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be: The unoccupied airplanes exceedance of the critical angle of attack which resulted in a stall, subsequent inverted spin, and impact with terrain."

Yup... no kidding... but some really lousy conduct got that airplane there.  

FMI: www.ntsb.gov, www.redbull.com

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