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Matt Younkin Okay After Crash Of Beech D-18

The airshow star reported trouble to ATC before the dramatic touchdown.

Matt Younkin Accident
Photo by Randy Gusdorf.
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Aerobatics airshow performer Matt Younkin was uninjured after a partial gear-up landing in his Beech D-18 twin in St. Joseph, Missouri, yesterday (Thursday, April 29, 2021). No one was injured. Younkin was in St. Joseph for an airshow this weekend.

Matt Younkin is a third-generation airshow performer in a family that has been hit by tragedy on more than one occasion. His father, airshow superstar Bobby Younkin, while flying his plane (a highly modified Samson), collided with Jimmy Franklin’s jet-assisted Waco in Saskatchewan, Canada, British Columbia in 2005. Jimmy Franklin also perished in the accident. Then, in 2011, Matt Younkin’s sister Amanda Younkin Franklin, who was a talented wing walker, died of burns suffered in the crash of her husband Kyle Franklin’s plane in San Antonio, Texas.

Matt, who has said he never intended to be an airshow pilot, became just that and puts on one of the best shows in the industry in his Beech 18, doing a show that is, according to his airshow site, almost a mirror image of the one his father pioneered and flew for over 15 years. The show features a roll on departure, Cuban eights, point-rolls, a loop, none of which the D-18 was designed to do, which probably helps make it such a great show.

Matt Younkin reported a problem the gear on his D-18, and with first responders in place, landed the big twin on the lone remaining gear leg. The plane went off the runway and was heavily damaged. The important part, of course, is that the pilot (and apparently sole occupant) was unhurt.

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