Stunt pilots and paratroopers Luke Aikins and Andy Farrington performed the stunt over the US state of Arizona late last month. They were both the sole occupants of a Cessna 182, a small single-engine plane that had been specially modified for the stunt. At 14,000 feet (over 4 kilometers) altitude, the two set their planes into a free fall before jumping out and switching places.
The stunt partially failed because the plane Aikins was flying in spiraled after his jump. Stuntman Farrington therefore failed to reach the plane and had to use his parachute to land safely. Images that organizer Red Bull published showed how Aikins managed to take a seat in the cockpit of Farrington’s plane.
The plane, which spiraled, crashed between Phoenix and Tucson. Several days later, Aikins admitted on Instagram that the aviation authority had not authorized him for the stunt. The stuntman nevertheless decided to perform the stunt without informing his team of the FAA’s decision.
The two not only immediately lose their pilot’s license, but are also no longer allowed to fly drones or skydive on their own. For each day Aikins and Farrington fail to surrender their pilot’s licenses, the FAA can fine them $1,644. The New York Times reported on Thursday that the pair declined to comment on the news.
Last month, the FAA also revoked the pilot’s license of an American YouTuber who deliberately crashed a plane at the end of last year. This paratrooper, Trevor Jacob, also behaved “recklessly,” according to the aviation authority.