Younkin Hospitalized, Expected To Make Full Recovery
ANN Real-Time Update, 11.11.09,
0841 EST: Matt Younkin has undergone a
successful surgery for injuries to an arm and is now expected to
make a full recovery. A statement by the Younkin family confirms
that the accident occured in Matt's Grandfather's 'Mullicoupe' one
of three such airframes in existence. The statement notes that,
"Matt Younkin was injured while flying the Younkin Mullicoupe
on Tuesday afternoon. During his flight he experienced a loss of
power and was forced into an emergency landing near a model
airplane field south of his home in Siloam Springs, Arkansas.
Matt's injuries are non-life threatening and he is expected to make
a full recovery in time for the 2010 airshow season. We would like
to thank you for your thoughts and prayers at this time."
ANN Real-Time Update, 11.11.09, 0012 EST:
Conflicting reports have come in concerning which aircraft is
involved in this accident, but much more important, late word is
reaching us that suggests that Matt will survive this accident.
Surgery was performed this afternoon in order to deal with the
injuries he suffered at impact and recovery prospects are said to
be positive -- while additional reports have asserted that Younkin
was flying either his Decathlon or a very rare Mullicoupe
when the accident occured. ANN will offer aditional details when
verified. In the meantime, all of the ANN and Aero-TV crew send
Matt our best wishes for a speedy and full recovery. -- Jim
Campbell, ANN E-I-C.
Original Report, 11.10.09, 1912 EST: ANN has
learned that Aerobatic Pilot Matt Younkin went down shortly after
departure from an airport near Siloam Springs, AR, late
Tuesday at approximately 1500 local time. The airshow performer,
son of the late Bobby Younkin, was flying what was described in
media reports as an "experimental" aircraft though limited (and
very poor) photography from the scene suggests that the aircraft
may be his Travel Air 'Mystery Ship.'
Matt is a third generation pilot. He is the son of legendary
airshow pilot Bobby Younkin, famous for his aerobatic displays in
the AT-6, Beech 18, Learjet 23, Samson, and the Super Decathlon.
Bobby is considered to have been be one of the greatest airshow
pilots of all time. Matt is also the grandson of Jim Younkin who is
well-known for designing the Century and TruTrak autopilots. Jim is
also famous for his antique aircraft restorations, as well as
building beautiful replicas of the 1930’s air racers such as
the Howard “Mr. Mulligan” and the Travel Air
“Mystery Ship.” Matt learned to fly at the age of 14
from family friend Ken Collier in a Piper J-3 Cub. At age 15, Chuck
Irvin, the same instructor who taught Bobby how to fly, refined
Matt’s piloting skills. On his sixteenth birthday, Matt
soloed his grandfather’s 1928 Travel Air 4000 biplane.
The Travel Air “Mystery Ship” was designed and built
in 1928 by the Travel Air Aircraft Corporation of Wichita, KS.
Designated the model 'R' the aircraft was designed and built for
the upcoming 1929 National Air Races. Design and assembly of the
aircraft was performed behind a curtain in a sealed off portion of
the aircraft plant. The “Mystery Ship” that Matt
performs in was re-created using original factory plans by Jim
Younkin in 1979. Although the Younkin airplane is a replica, it is
the only example worldwide of a Travel Air "Mystery Ship" flying
The aircraft appears to have impacted in an unimproved area with
significant trees and vegetation... making any possible emergency
landing problematic. According to local reports, Younkin was pulled
from t eh stricken aircraft and transported immediately to the
local hospital where he is undergoing treatment. Information as to
his condition is not currently available.