Horrible Weekend For Airshows
ANN REALTIME UPDATE
0029, 07.11.05: This is one of those stories I never
thought I'd have to do... but a tragic and fiery midair collision
during a presentation of the "Masters of Disaster" airshow routine
has resulted in two fatalities and a reported injury after the
three airplanes ran afoul of each other. The incident occurred at
1620, local time.
It has now been confirmed that both Jimmy Franklin, a truly
legendary airshow performer, and Bobby Younkin, a greatly
accomplished flyer, have been lost in this staggeringly
catastrophic crash. Both Younkin's and Franklin's death has now
been confirmed in national media reports. The airshow was
canceled immediately after the accident.
Both Younkin's 'Samson' and Franklin's Jet Waco biplanes
(first pic, below) were brought down and destroyed while a third,
Jim Leroy's 'Bulldog', apparently got down to the ground under
some kind of control. Unfortunately, Franklin's son Kyle, who had
just finished a wing-walking performance with his dad, was
announcing the act when the midair occurred.
According to published reports, Bobby Younkin was scheduled to
be flying "Samson" (second photo, shown below) while we have
determined that it was Franklin's Waco that went down. The
third, surviving, airplane was as Jim LeRoy's Bulldog (third photo,
The accident took place at this year's 2005 Saskatchewan
Centennial Airshow, hosted by the Canadian Force's 15 Wing at Moose
Jaw. The show was to have included performances by a number of
military birds and a Snowbirds flight demonstration... which was to
also have honored the memory of Snowbird pilot Capt. Miles Selby,
lost in a training accident last year.
The Airshow site released a statement a short ago while that
reported, "At approximately 16:20, the Air Show was brought to
an unexpected halt after two pilots from Masters Of Disaster were
killed in a collision mid-flight. The planes were Samson and Waco.
The pilots names will be released once the next of kin have been
informed. Bulldog was able to make a safe landing and emergency
crews responded immediately. The accident is currently under
investigation. Our thoughts and prayers are with the families and
friends of those involved."
Additional: Delaware MidAir Kills
Two Practicing Formation
In a related story, a six-ship formation flight, conducted as
practice for a Delaware airshow has apparently resulted in yet
another midair, bringing down two experimental-amateur built
aircraft. One pilot is now confirmed dead and has been identified
as Jay Blume, 39, of Berwyn, Pennsylvania, flying a Rutan-designed
Long-Ez. The other aircraft, a Van's RV-8, is registered to Ralph
D. Morgan of Rehoboth Beach, Delaware. His condition or involvement
in the actual accident has not yet been determined. All six
aircraft were members of a local formation flying team, known as
ANN will have more info for you as soon as possible.
[ANN Thanks our good buddy, Fly-Low's Ralph McCormick, for the
airshow pic of Franklin and Leroy, above.]