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Red Bull Plane Swap Stunt Ends in Twisted Metal

Partially Successful Stunt Sees Diving Aircraft Disembark and Embark Pilot While Airborne

Sunday's mid-air aircraft trade was partially successful over the weekend, but Luke Aikins and Andy Farrington say it's just a bump in the road on the way to success. 

The two Red Bull teammates had designed the first-of-its-kind stunt in which would see them put a pair of modified Cessna 182s into a dive at 14,000 feet, disembark, and enter each others' aircraft. Unfortunately, the stunt was not able to be performed successfully in its entirety, with only Aikins making his transition. Farrington had to wave off, allowing the second aircraft to impact the ground as he parachuted to a safe landing. 

While both pilots were unable to complete the trade, a partial success still counts for something, and Aikins said they made a good showing regardless. 

“I mean, we proved that it was possible. We're pushing boundaries out here 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,” Aikins said. “That's why we're here where we are, everybody's safe. The parachute system works just like it was supposed to… There's no way to test it until you do it.”

Farrington’s aircraft’s safety mechanisms activated but the plane was damaged. The blue Cessna impacted the desert floor in a nose-low attitude, crippling the majority of the body. Without the modified, experimental aircraft, there is no apparent way forward for another attempt. 

“Yeah. I mean, we are there, all the numbers matched up and everything like that. Everything should have been good to go for some reason. It wasn't that way,” Farrington added. “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 an important part.”



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