A pair of daredevil pilots had their flying licenses revoked by the Federal Aviation Administration for attempting a stunt without permission that led to one plane crashing.
Luke Aikins and Andy Farrington were penalized after the two unsuccessfully attempted to swap planes while descending midair at an Arizona event held April 24. Pilots are required to remain seated and buckled in to their planes at all times while flying, according to documents the FAA shared with the Washington Examiner on Thursday.
“The attempted stunt resulted in the crash of one of the two single-engine Cessna 182 aircraft," the FAA said. "The lead pilot requested an exemption for the stunt from the FAA, which the agency denied.”
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The failed stunt, organized by Red Bull and broadcast live on Hulu, ended with Farrington parachuting to the ground when Aikins's Cessna 182 spun out of control and crashed. Aikins was able to regain control and safely land Farrington's plane. No one was injured in the incident.
Both Aikins and Farrington are required to surrender their pilot certificates immediately, with a civil penalty of up to $1,644 for each day they fail to return their certificates. The FAA also proposed a $4,932 fine against Aikins for abandoning his seat and operating an aircraft in a reckless manner.
"Anyone facing a fine has due process rights, including the right to appeal, per the Administrative Procedures Act," the FAA told the Washington Examiner.
The FAA rejected Aikins's request to perform the stunt on April 22. Aikins, the lead pilot, decided "to move forward with [the] plane swap” and regrets "not sharing this information with my team and those who supported me,” a statement he posted April 29 reads.
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The pilots have until May 20 to appeal their revocations.