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Thread: Drunk man steals airplane

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    Drunk man steals airplane

    In this classic airshow trick, a drunk man steals an airplane.

    The "drunk" man, complete with backwards-turned hat, wife-beater style undershirt, brown paper bag covered drink, and arms flailing wildly, is in this case legendary stunt pilot Kyle Franklin, performing an incredibly difficult and dangerous aviation stunt.

    Here's an in-cockpit video of the same stunt:

    Franklin is as true-blue as it gets in stunt flying circles. His grandfather flew a 1929 Doyle Special and his father started the Franklin's Flying Circus airshow act. Kyle first flew in an airplane when he was two weeks old, and was the world's youngest professional wing walker at age 17.

    Kyle Franklin, with father and grandfather, in the 1970s:

    Like many stunt pilots, there's a dark side, and in this case, it's almost beyond belief. In 2005, Kyle's father's biplane collided with Bobby Younkin's biplane at an airshow, and they both died. Months later, Kyle married Younkin's daughter Amanda, another airshow pilot.

    Kyle and Amanda Franklin performing a routine at an airshow:

    In 2011, Amanda was wing walking on Kyle's biplane when the engine failed. She climbed off the wing and into the forward cockpit seat in time for a forced landing. Kyle stuck the off-field landing, but a fire broke out. Kyle was badly burned trying to free Amanda, but she died of her injuries.

    This video catches up with Kyle a year after that tragedy. "This is what I've been doing my whole life," he said. "I don't know anything else to do. And I'm going to keep doing it... ."


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