The stunt show Plane Swap went ahead Sunday with its live broadcast of two pilots attempting to trade planes midair — despite the rejection of a waiver sought through the FAA for a law that states aircraft must be piloted at all times. Luke Aikens and Andy Farrington, the pilots who performed the stunt, had applied for the waiver, stating it was for “public interest” and would raise awareness in the fields of science, technology, engineering and math and would encourage students to pursue careers in them.
… In its rejection notice, the FAA had said it “would not be in the public interest and cannot find that the proposed operation would not adversely affect safety.”
… As we now know, one of the two single-engine Cessna 182 aircraft used in the stunt crashed after it spun out of control. The pilot landed safely by parachute. The other pilot regained control of the second aircraft and landed safely. The FAA said it was investigating the event. The National Transportation Safety Board has also opened an investigation into the crash.
… It’s quite possible Aikens and Farrington could lose their piloting licenses over the stunt. Last week I (you) told you about the YouTuber who bailed out of his airplane over California and later claimed he had engine trouble. Except that he’d rigged his plane with multiple cameras, had a camera on his body, and just happened to wear a parachute for that flight. He lost his license to fly.