Two enthusiastic American pilots have to hand over their pilots’ licenses because of a Unsuccessful attempt to change the plane at an altitude of 4 km† The US Federal Aviation Administration describes the stunt, in which a plane crashed and no one was hurt, as “reckless and unheard of.” According to the New York Times, the authority also fined one pilot $4,932 (more than €4,750) for leaving the pilot’s seat during the flight.
Aerobatic pilots and paratroopers Luke Aikins and Andy Farrington performed the stunt over Arizona late last month. Both were the sole occupants of the Cessna 182, a small, single-engine aircraft modified specifically for adventure. At an altitude of 14,000 feet (more than 4 kilometers), the two set their planes in free fall before jumping and switching places.
The stunt failed in part because the plane flying in the Aikins spirals after his jump. So Stuntman Farrington failed to reach the plane and had to use his parachute to land safely. Pictures published by Red Bull showed how Aikins managed to sit in the cockpit of the Farrington plane.
The plane that crashed between Phoenix and Tucson crashed. Several days later, Aikins admitted on Instagram that the aviation authority had not authorized him to venture. However, the acrobat decided to perform the stunt without informing his team of the FAA’s decision.
No more skydiving or drones either
Not only did the two lose their pilot’s license immediately, but they were also no longer allowed to fly drones or skydive alone. For each day that Aikins and Farrington fail to hand over their pilots’ licenses, the FAA can fine them $1,644. The New York Times reported that the two did not wish to comment on the news.
Last month, the FAA also revoked the pilot’s license of an American Youtuber who intentionally crashed a plane at the end of last year. This paratrooper, Trevor Jacob, also acted “recklessly,” according to the aviation authority.
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