I enjoyed watching the husband and wife aerobatic and wingwalking team the last two years at Airventure. First time I’d seen sword fighting in the air. I know many guys who can’t talk their wife into sitting in a small airplane, much less asking that she stand on top of the wing. Unfortunately, Airshows have inherent risks. Kyle and Amanda Franklin were seriously injured after his Waco “Mystery Ship” caught fire in flight during a performance at the Brownsville/South Padre Island Air Fiesta.
Kyle is the son of Jimmy Franklin and Amanda is the daughter of Bobby Younkin, both of whom were killed in an airshow accident July 2005. It was a midair collision while performing the “Master of Disaster” routine and Kyle was announcing the show when it happened. Just a few days afterward, Kyle proposed to Amanda. They have done the “Pirated Skies” wingwalk show together for several years.
Amanda’s brother, Matt, also an airshow performer, said Kyle did everything possible to allow Amanda to climb back in the cockpit, then set the plane down in the only place he had, into the wind, missing the large trees and then tried to get Amanda out of the burning airplane.
Both of the Franklins were aware of the risks and potential for snakes in the cockpit. I suspect neither would want to do anything else. Thoughts and prayers to you both for a speedy recovery.