Monday, April 25, 2022

Cessna 172S, N1788T: Incident occurred April 24, 2022 at Ogden-Hinckley Airport (KOGD), Weber County, Utah

Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Salt Lake City, Utah

Aircraft incurred a propeller strike on landing. 

Flight Operations Aircraft LLC  

Date: 24-APR-22
Time: 19:40:00Z
Regis#: N1788T
Aircraft Make: CESSNA
Aircraft Model: 172
Event Type: INCIDENT
Highest Injury: NONE
Aircraft Missing: No
Damage: MINOR
Activity: PERSONAL
Flight Phase: LANDING (LDG)
Operation: 91
State: UTAH

American Champion 7ECA, N5172T: Incident occurred April 24, 2022 at Waterville Airport (2S5), Douglas County, Washington

Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Spokane, Washington

Aircraft incurred a propeller strike and nose damage in gusty wind conditions on landing.  

Bergstrom Aircraft Inc

Date: 24-APR-22
Time: 18:20:00Z
Regis#: N5172T
Aircraft Make: CHAMPION
Aircraft Model: 7ECA
Event Type: INCIDENT
Highest Injury: NONE
Aircraft Missing: No
Damage: MINOR
Activity: PERSONAL
Flight Phase: LANDING (LDG)
Operation: 91

Cessna 182G Skylane, N3694U: Accident occurred April 24, 2022 in Eloy, Pinal County, Arizona

This is preliminary information, subject to change, and may contain errors. Any errors in this report will be corrected when the final report has been completed. 

The National Transportation Safety Board did not travel to the scene of this accident. 

Additional Participating Entity: 
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Scottsdale, Arizona 

Para Tactics LLC

Location: Eloy, Arizona
Accident Number: WPR22LA165
Date and Time: April 24, 2022, 18:45 Local
Registration: N3694U
Aircraft: Cessna 182G
Injuries: N/A
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General aviation - Personal

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: Cessna 
Registration: N3694U
Model/Series: 182G 
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Amateur Built:
Operator: On file 
Operating Certificate(s) Held: None
Operator Designator Code:

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: VMC
Condition of Light: Day
Observation Facility, Elevation: KCGZ,1462 ft msl
Observation Time: 18:56 Local
Distance from Accident Site: 18 Nautical Miles
Temperature/Dew Point: 26°C /-14°C
Lowest Cloud Condition: Clear 
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: 6 knots / , 320°
Lowest Ceiling: None 
Visibility: 10 miles
Altimeter Setting: 29.91 inches Hg 
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Departure Point: Eloy, AZ 
Destination: Eloy, AZ

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: N/A 
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: 
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: N/A 
Latitude, Longitude: 32.661915,-111.71015 (est)

Aircraft was part of an exhibition event conducted by Red Bull, pilot exited and aircraft went into a spin impacting desert terrain. 

Date: 24-APR-22
Time: 00:45:00Z
Regis#: N3694U
Aircraft Make: CESSNA
Aircraft Model: 182
Event Type: ACCIDENT
Highest Injury: NONE
Aircraft Missing: No
Activity: OTHER
City: ELOY

The Federal Aviation Administration this week revoked pilot certificates for the two men involved in a Red Bull-sponsored plane swap that resulted in a crash last month.

Luke Aikins, the lead pilot for the stunt, had requested an FAA exemption in February from a federal law requiring that aircraft be manned by a pilot at all times. He argued in his request that the planned plane swap was in the "public interest" as it was meant to raise awareness for science, technology, engineering and math fields and encourage students to pursue careers in STEM.

But two days before the stunt, the FAA denied Aikins' request, saying it "would not be in the public interest and cannot find that the proposed operation would not adversely affect safety."

Despite the rejection, Aikins and partner Andy Farrington, who is also his cousin, went on to attempt the plane swap on April 24 — while they were being live-streamed online — but they failed, causing one of the single-engine Cessnas to crash. Neither pilot was harmed.

The FAA described their behavior as "careless or reckless so as to endanger the life or property of another," according to letters to both men dated Tuesday, notifying them of the revocations.

The agency also proposed a $4,932 fine against Aikins for "abandoning his pilot’s seat and operating an aircraft in a reckless manner."

Red Bull said in a statement on Thursday that "this is a matter between the Federal Aviation Administration and the two pilots. Luke and Andy are courageous, highly skilled athletes who have been friends of Red Bull for many years and we look forward to their continued friendship."

Aikins and Farrington did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

In a previous statement on social media, Aikins said he would be cooperating with the agency in its review and acknowledged that "as project lead and chief pilot, it was entirely my responsibility to operate within the regulatory framework to ensure a successful outcome."

He said then that he was aware of the FAA's denial of his exemption before attempting the swap: "I made the personal decision to go forward ... I regret not sharing this information with my team and those who supported me."

Both pilots must surrender their pilot certificates "immediately," the FAA said this week. Because of this, both Aikins and Farrington cannot fly legally.

The agency noted, however, that an appeals process is available for the revocations and that Aikins could participate in an "informal conference" regarding the possible fine.

He and Farrington cannot apply for or be issued new airman certificates for one year.

ELOY, Arizona — The pilot in charge during a forbidden Red Bull plane-swapping stunt said Friday he takes full responsibility for the ensuing crash over the Arizona desert.

Luke Aikins, the lead pilot, admitted in a post on his Instagram that he disregarded a denial from the Federal Aviation Administration two days before Sunday's mid-air crash.

“I made the personal decision to move forward with (the) plane swap. I regret not sharing this information with my team and those who supported me,” Aikins wrote.

He said he would cooperate fully with the FAA and any other regulatory agencies.

Aikins and another pilot flew separate Cessna 182 airplanes up to 14,000 feet (4 kilometers) Sunday evening as part of a stunt to promote the energy drink company. They tried to switch planes as the aircraft descended.

One plane spun out of control and crashed near Eloy, roughly 65 miles (104 kilometers) southeast of Phoenix. The pilot was able to parachute out safely. The second pilot regained control of the other plane and landed safely.

It was not clear what possible penalties Aikins could face. Elizabeth Isham Cory, an FAA spokeswoman, said the agency does not comment on open investigations. But the FAA provided a copy of a letter denying Aikins' request.

Aikins had petitioned for an exemption from the rule that pilots must be at the helm with safety belts fastened at all times. He argued the stunt would “be in the public interest because it would promote aviation in science, technology, engineering, and math.”

Robert Carty, FAA deputy executive director of flight standards service, denied the exemption.

Red Bull, known for organizing wild promotional stunts, said in a statement it looks forward to continuing to work with Aikins. The company called him a “courageous, highly skilled athlete” who has been honest about his role in the incident.

Plane swap stunt ends in crash over Arizona after feds denied initial safety exemption request

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is investigating an "attempted Red Bull Plane Swap" in Arizona that ended in a crash when one of the two planes involved spun out of control on April 24.

"One of the two 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.

The administration previously denied the request from Red Bull which asked for an exemption from feds to do the stunt, although it violates safe airplane operation protocols.

Red Bull explained its stunt, saying on its website, "On Sunday, April 24th, Luke Aikins and Andy Farrington will go down in history as the first pilots to take off in one aircraft and land in another after sending their airplanes into a nosedive and jumping out of them!"

Adding, "Plane Swap has been a year in the making with hours and hours put in by Luke, Andy, Paulo and Aaron Fitzgerald the Aerial Coordinator to ensure the plan goes off without a hitch."

The FAA provided its denial letter and in the letter, it stated, "The FAA has considered the petition, and finds that granting an exemption from § 91.105(a) would not be in the public interest and cannot find that the proposed operation would not adversely affect safety."

Continuing, the FAA further explained the reasoning for the denial, saying, "The FAA does not evaluate these deficiencies in greater detail because the petitioner does not provide a sufficient public interest case. Additionally, granting the petitioner’s request for relief would be contrary to previous denials of requests for relief from the same regulation to allow the flight crew to leave the flight deck and airplane during the operation of the airplane so as to allow the airplane to simulate a crash landing.

Second, the FAA has determined that a grant of exemption is not in the public interest for the proposed operation. The petitioner states that he has been conducting the operation in compliance with FAA regulations by having an additional pilot on board the airplane designated as PIC while the airplane swap described in the petition for exemption occurs. Because the FAA cannot conclude that the operations for which relief is sought (i.e., an operation without a pilot in the airplane and at the controls) would not adversely affect safety, and because the petitioner can continue to perform this demonstration in compliance with FAA regulations by including an additional pilot for each airplane, there is no public interest in granting the exemption request."