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Cause of crash remains a mystery

November 23, 2011, 06:45 pm

The National Transportation Safety Board recently announced it has yet to determine the cause of a plane crash that occurred eight months ago during a Texas air show at the Brownsville-South Padre International Airport. The crash not only disrupted the show and caused damage to the aircraft, but it badly burned one individua who later died from the incident.

Amanda Franklin was performing as a wingwalker, while her husband Kyle Franklin flew the Waco UPF-7 biplane. During their performance the engine of the plane shut off, but Amanda was able to crawl into the plane before Kyle made a crash landing. However, when the plane crashed it caught fire on impact and Amanda was badly burned. Kyle was also severely injured but was able to recover from his injuries. The NTSB believes the cause could be the loss of engine power, but what led to that remains a mystery.

The Brownsville Herald reported that after the accident, the plane was taken to the Tulsa Aircraft Engines facilities to test the engine and fuel system components to find the cause of the incident. Experts were unable to find a reason for the engine to shut off. Pictures taken of the crash site showed smoke rising from the exhaust of the plane, usually indicating a flooded engine. But further analysis showed no signs the engine flooded or had a power problem.

The source reported that the day before the accident, however, the couple was practicing their routine and the engine stalled at the end of the exercise. No problems were found, and the couple ran the engine at different settings for 15 minutes to check for other issues. Pilots should invest in insurance to make sure they are protected from such unexpected malfunctions. 

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