March 15, 2011
By Dan Namowitz
Airshow performers Kyle and Amanda Franklin were undergoing treatment at a burn unit in San Antonio, Texas, after they experienced an engine fire and crash during a performance March 12 at Air Fiesta 2011 at Brownsville-South Padre International Airport.
The International Council of Air Shows (ICAS) has established a fund to help pay medical expenses of performers Kyle and Amanda Franklin, who suffered severe burns when their aircraft experienced an engine fire and crashed March 12 at Air Fiesta 2011 in Brownsville, Texas.
The ICAS announced the Kyle and Amanda Fund in an article on its website. “It now appears that Amanda’s injuries will require a difficult and potentially expensive recovery and rehabilitation process,” it said, urging its members to contribute as much as their financial condition permits.
Visit the ICAS Foundation website for instructions on how to make a donation to the fund, or contact ICAS Foundation Chairman Caroline Trinkwater at 734/595-0864.
Video captured the mishap, which occurred while Amanda was performing a wing-walking routine. The engine of their Waco biplane suddenly burst into flames. Amanda succeeded in getting safely off the wing and into the cockpit, after which the aircraft crash landed.
News reports said the Franklins were airlifted to Brooke Army Medical Center, where Amanda was first reported in critical condition with extensive burns, according to airshow official Chris Hughston. Kyle was less seriously injured, he said. On March 15, the Texas airshow’s website reported that Amanda was in stable condition, and Kyle was in “improving condition.”
The Neosho, Mo.-based Franklins perform as Franklin’s Flying Circus & Airshow in the 450-hp radial-engine-equipped Waco JMF-7 aircraft known as their Waco Mystery Ship—so called because its extensive modifications alter its appearance from standard aircraft—and a Piper Super Cub.
Kyle has flown the Waco since 1999, according to the performers’ website. Amanda began wing walking full time for the act in 2009, it said.
Dan Namowitz is an aviation writer and flight instructor. He has been a pilot since 1985 and an instructor since 1990.
AOPA expressed concern in a meeting with town officials from East Hampton, New York, that restrictions proposed to curb airport noise “overwhelmingly” generated by transient commercial flights would unfairly burden traditional airport users.
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