Under the aegis of Red Bull, a specialist in sometimes too strong sensations, at the end of April one of the craziest, if not stupid, aerial acrobatics ever conceived by humans since they flew was attempted: a air exchangean exchange of planes, in more or less correct French.
Over the Arizona desert, the two pilots, paratroopers and cousins Luke Aikins (48) and Andy Farrington (39) had to leave their plane mid-flightat 14,000 feet above the ground and in full immersion, to join that of their partner and then take control.
What could go wrong? Despite the talent of the two men, special installations on the two aircraft (air brakes designed for the occasion) and, of course, preparation that leaves (almost) nothing to chance, everything.
Frankly? Easy. | Red Bull
And it all went wrong. As reported by USA Today, one of the two planes began to turn, probably due to a loss of center of gravity, and ended up crashing to the ground without its (new) pilot being able to reach it and recover the handle. One of the two stuntmen, Luke Aikins, still managed to jump from plane to plane.
His partner Andy Farrington was therefore less happy but managed to end his adventure with the parachute, alive and in good health. It is therefore half of air exchange past or half of air exchange missed, depending on your level of optimism at the time – if you could think, the crashed Cessna 182 in the Arizona sands would likely rank in the latter category.
– Aaron Tevis (@AaronTevis) April 25, 2022
—Nate Burrows (@HawkeyeAvGeek) April 25, 2022
Andy Farrington and Luke Aikins (who had tested everything in advance except the dive, jump and final swap) as well as their sponsor who gives wings (but sometimes takes them back) are therefore left with a beautiful dread, and an analysis. to understand what happened to cause one of the planes to start spinning like this.
They will not be the only ones to investigate: the FAA, the American authority for the surveillance of aerial things, is certainly not happy that the aerobatic attempt went (badly) when it had formally forbidden it. For the brand, however, the operation seems successful: we are talking about it.