The Flying Farmer act has been a staple of airshows for years. Kyle Franklin’s version is just as entertaining as an inebriated Ben Wabknoski takes over the controls of a Super Cub for a fun, low-altitude airshow experience. In this encore video, Franklin explains what’s involved. He makes it look easy, but it’s anything but.

18 COMMENTS

  1. Wouldn’t want to earn my living by doing things that look (and actually are) very risky. Shades of the Lincoln Beachey (etc.) days…
    At least there are no wing walkers or jumpers from plane to plane.

    Just bailing out with a sleeveless T-shirt seems pretty risky to me!

    Life is short enough, why encourage others and also risk it to possibly shorten yours. We do have that freedom though…

    Hardly ever watch the airshows at OSH or SnF, especially not the T-Birds or Blue’s. They’re great, but see them at a base and save us the hassle of moving half way out of the show to accommodate them at these events.
    Just the people (old and new friends) and planes is all many of us need!

    • Interesting thoughts, Risk means a fun thrill for many people, risk means danger to others. If it is fun, the government will likely end it, because people have decided it is too risky (fun) to continue.
      I use to fly in the Grand Canyon before it got to ‘risky’. I use to fly around Washington DC, before it got to ‘risky’. Yes, I’ve come to the conclusion, someone will soon declare anything ‘risky’ as bad.
      It is why the country is locked down now… just too risky.
      Do we really need planes? They seem very risky to just about everyone that sees one for the first time. Couldn’t we all just use trains… once all the planes were gone the trains would be too risky.
      I would say we need to all wrap ourselves in bubble wrap, but that would be just too risky. Some idiot would wrap it around their head and suffocate. We could sit at home, but that would also be too risky.
      Everyone should be learning from the second they are born how to mange risk, I don’t think that is happening anymore.
      We are doomed as a society.

      • Risk management is something that all pilots need to know under ACS, even if initially certified under the PTS or earlier.

        If you think I was pushing bubble wrapping, you missed my point. I was just making the point that most of us have seen this show or a look alike and admire guys like Kyle. It’s not why I come, and it is a higher risk that Kyle seems to be managing fine to date. It’s still a higher risk and the crowds are waiting to see if the show comes off risk free. That’s what all the suspense during it is about.

    • Your post seems over the top loaded with assumptions. What’s next? The Blue Angels will inspire someone to steal a jet with an APU onboard and take off with it?

      Kyle Franklin is a very seasoned stunt pilot and has been performing for some twenty years. His stick and rudder skills and knowledge of the mechanics of flight exceed that of well over 95% of all pilots in the world.

      Risk is managed. And, he does so very well.

  2. Saw this show for the first time in Little Rock, AK in 2007 or 2008. My Navy Reserve unit was approached to provide crowd control so I volunteered. On day one Kyle approached us asking us to chase him out onto the ramp, but not catch him. The younger Petty Officer I was working with was all in. So I decided to watch from a distance and watch to ensure the skit didn’t inspire any copy cat activity. Day one was almost identical to what I saw in this video. However he started by putting the aircraft on its mains and spinning a tight circle before taking off. On day two he attempted the same skit only this time when he spun the circle he had a tail gust that brought the tail up higher than he planned and the prop struck bringing the engine to an instant stop and the whole skit to an abrupt end. I often wondered if he did a proper tear down and inspection afterwards…

  3. The good news for anyone who is risk adverse it is not mandatory to watch brave and skilled people push the envelope. One can safely remain on their living room couch watching football eating Cheetos.

  4. I too rarely watch the airshow acts. But this act is one I would never miss given the chance. I saw it years ago at an airshow and was entranced. Slapstick dialogue and antics aside, the flying itself is amazing, ballet with an airplane. To say that this act encourages pilots to do stupid things — you could say that about any airshow act. And while there may be some truth to it, pilots prove over and over that we are capable of doing immensely stupid things without any encouragement at all.

  5. I did my basic flying training on a Piper Super Cub PA18-125 and PA18A-150. Continued to CPL levels mostly on this aircraft. Going forward, I have extensively flown 16 different types aircraft. But nothing gives me more pleasure than getting into a Piper Super Cub, even today, for the sheer fun and pleasure of flying. I have over 1600 hours on the Super Cub.

  6. I don’t find air shows amusing, yet I can’t help but admire Kyle Franklin’s artistry.
    Moreover, contrary to some earlier comments, he has a great deal to teach pilots
    about what NOT to do under almost any circumstances, and conversely, how one
    should handle various emergencies that might otherwise be impossible to survive,
    regardless of what type of aircraft was involved. If he cared to offer his services
    to a recognized aviation school, be it civilian (Embry-Riddle) or military (USSFA),
    he should be hired as an adjunct Instructor, both in the sky and in the classroom.
    I am sure that he would make an excellent teacher, and that his students would
    benefit immensely, both from his knowledge and expertise and from his modest,
    unassuming character. Mr. Franklin may be the clown prince of aviation, but he
    is nobody’s fool–for when it comes to staying alive in the air while keeping your
    feet on the ground, he has few if any equals. As daredevils go, he’s an absolute
    angel. Safety is no laughing matter. So why take unnecessary risks? Ask Kyle
    for help now, lest you and your crew take a fast plunge and a fatal pratfall later.