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NTSB releases final report on Red Bull plane swap crash

The NTSB has released its final report into April's failed midair plane swap in Eloy, Arizona, sponsored by Red Bull, that ended with a Cessna 182 crashing into the ground. One pilot successfully made the swap; the other parachuted to safety. Luke Aikins, the lead pilot and creator of the stunt, unsuccessfully petitioned the FAA to get a waiver to allow the swap. The FAA later revoked the pilot licenses of Aikins and fellow pilot Andrew Farrington. The NTSB's summary and conclusion in the final report are brief and blunt. "The other pilot could not enter the second airplane because it entered an inverted spin shortly after egress," the report states. "The pilot reported that he believed the airplane entered a spin due to the ballast that was added to offset the weight of the safety pilot. He added that the airplane was outfitted with a parachute system that was designed to trigger at an altitude of 1,000 ft, and deployed while the airplane was inverted, which resulted in it only being partially deployed when the airplane impacted the ground and was substantially damaged. " In its conclusion, the NTSB writes it determines the probable cause of the crash to be: "The unoccupied airplanes exceedance of the critical angle of attack which resulted in a stall, subsequent inverted spin, and impact with terrain."PREVIOUS STORIES:FAA revokes pilot licenses of performers after failed Red Bull plane swap ends in crash FAA investigating Red Bull plane swap after stunt ends in crashAikens apologized on Instagram after the failed stunt. "I received email notice April 22, 2022, from the FAA that a specific exemption was not granted and I made the personal decision to move forward with plane swap," he posted. "I regret not sharing this information with my team and those who supported me."
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