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International Council of Air Shows


March 15th, 2011
Amanda Franklin was seriously injured following an accident while performing the “Pirated Skies” wingwalking act with her husband, Kyle Franklin, at Air Fiesta 2011 in Brownsville, Texas, on Saturday, March 12 at approximately 3:00 p.m. CST. Just prior to a complete engine failure, eyewitnesses reported that flames appeared near the front of Franklin’s highly-modified Waco biplane during the middle of the couple’s performance. In an e-mail message on Sunday afternoon thanking friends and colleagues for their kind words and support, Matt Younkin (Amanda’s brother and Kyle’s brother-in-law) expressed his appreciation and admiration for Kyle’s quick decision making and piloting skills. “I also have to extend a very sincere thanks to Kyle who I strongly credit for the fact that my little sister is still with us. Having witnessed the accident and being one of the first on the scene, I can say without a doubt that he made no less than five quick decisions in the air and on the ground that gave her a second chance at life! When the engine quit, Amanda was on the top wing in the rack. Kyle continued to fly the airplane in a straight and level fashion as long as he could to give Amanda every opportunity to unstrap and get into the front cockpit where she would have the best chance in the event of a hard landing. He also resisted the temptation to turn for the pavement which typically induces a fatal stall/spin situation. He avoided landing in the pyro field. And faced with the only other option of landing in mesquite woods, Kyle landed into the wind, drastically reducing the forward speed at impact.” Kyle received minor burns and was treated and released from a Brownsville hospital shortly after the accident. Amanda is being treated at the world-renowned burn center at Brooke Army Medical Center in San Antonio, Texas, where she is listed in critical, but stable condition. This short video clip posted on You Tube shows the last several seconds of the flight and Kyle’s forced landing behind scrub brush on the airport grounds. The Franklins and Younkins have received a deluge of phone calls at a difficult time. For now, they have asked that e-mails and calls be directed to Justina Anuszewski, e-mail: justy@flyjivefly.com, phone: 717-385-1805. Due to hospital regulations, the family has also asked that we do not try to send flowers or other gifts to the hospital.