View Full Version : 'Drunk' Pilot Airshow Routine
3rd Sep 2012, 19:40
Apologies if this has been posted before, but I've just found this:
Obviously this is a flying comedy sketch - I get it. However, it left me thinking, is this kind of flying really safe/controlled throughout the routine? I'm sure that he's a very accomplished pilot and all, but it just makes me uncomfortable watching it! I was also surprised and just how much the rudder was 'wagging' at times, I've never flown a Cub and so I don't know just what it's capable of in terms of over-stressing the airframe and tailplane but it looks unnatural to me.
Also, would the guys messing around on the runway at the beginning of the routine be allowed at a European airshow?
I don't know the answers and I'm by no means suggesting that this is unsafe, I'd just be interested to hear the thoughts of any display pilots and/or those that know the limits of the Cub.
3rd Sep 2012, 20:30
It's why Cubs and other similar rag wings are so loved by many, they will do this safely, and with ease, in the hands of a skilled pilot!
Other types can too, though perhaps to a lesser degree...
3rd Sep 2012, 20:48
I've seen J-3 Cubs, Super Cub, Tigers and Stampes used for crazy flying in the UK - two of the regulars in the last couple of decades have been Barry Tempest and Brendan O'Brien, who is still at it. He was once supposed to have "stolen" the aircraft and had to wait for a landing aircraft, during which time two coppers caught up with him - which wasn't part of the act...
The Tiger Club wrecked a few aircraft with the act in the 1960s, but they mostly reappeared in due course and the pilots seemed to survive relatively unscathed. Look for the photo of Lewis Benjamin two feet off the ground in Super Tiger "The Canon" at Sywell in 1963.
3rd Sep 2012, 21:50
The original Flying Farmer was Charlie Kulp. I saw him perform at Middle Wallop in 1990 and at Freeman Field, Louisa, Va. in 2007. A lovely bloke.
The Flying Farmer (http://www.generalaviationnews.com/2008/01/25/the-flying-farmer%E2%80%99s-last-show/)
Charlie Kulp - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charlie_Kulp)
3rd Sep 2012, 22:26
Obviously this is a flying comedy sketch - I get it. However, it left me thinking, is this kind of flying really safe/controlled throughout the routine? ......... I'm sure that he's a very accomplished pilot and all, but it just makes me uncomfortable watching it! .
Uncomfortable, no, amazing and amusing more like, seems to demonstrate the extreme of someone who understands every last bit of the aircraft's performance envelope ... and works it to the limit. Brilliant!
3rd Sep 2012, 22:32
The original Flying Farmer was Charlie Kulp
Friend of mine showed me some pics of him taken with a few of the pilots at a show in VA about 10 years ago. "That's Charlie Kulp" I said pointing to the elderly ZZ Top bearded charater. He replied "How the **** did you know that..."
3rd Sep 2012, 22:49
There's a video with an interview below where Kyle Franklin talks about the mods and how he is able to fly that badly.
3rd Sep 2012, 23:09
Just brilliant, some superb flying skills on show dressed up into a good "act". I love things like this and usually behind the scenes they are as safe as they can possibly be while still pushing the edge of the box in terms of the skills on display and giving the appearance of being unsafe. Its not that much different to any of the top formation groups, and sadly accidents, can, will and do happen.
4th Sep 2012, 01:26
It is safe. However there is a reason that there aren't many people doing crazy flying acts, and those that do become particular specialists. In order to get so good that it looks bad takes a unique skill and lots and lots of practice. That's the bit where it can get a bit unsafe.
Most airshow acts tend to prefer to create their spectacle in other ways that are easier to create, but hopefully just as good to watch.
4th Sep 2012, 02:10
I remember Brian Lecomber doing it at Blackbushe back in '77; he disappeared from our view at one point in the trees south of the A30, and we were in the control tower just north of the A30 and well above him!
4th Sep 2012, 19:59
I remember Stanley Ward doing that sort of thing years ago at Seething's air displays....
Hi I might be wrong but wasn't he killed recently doing that show when he didn't manage to relocate the stick properly,might not have been that chap but I'm sure I remember seeing something along those lines, happened a long time ago i now discover chap was Dick Schramm I think
4th Sep 2012, 20:46
I think his wife died ref the video.
I have seen Mr. Franklin do this routine several times, primarily at Oshkosh. It scares me, frankly. Sadly, his lovely wife died of burns last year or the year before, following a severe engine failure that resulted in a large fire and crash. She was his wing walker. Her father, Bobby Younkin was killed a few years ago in a collision with Jimmy Franklin [Kyle's father]. A lot of tragedy in those families, all Airshow related, sadly.