Skip Stewart will be one of the aerobatic pilots entertaining the crowds with death-defying stunts at the Liberal AirFair on Oct. 2. Photo courtesy Skip Stewart
Event will include flying acts, a parachute team, a car show, singing entertainment and food vendors
By ROBERT PIERCE
• Daily Leader
On Oct. 2, flying acts will once again take to the skies near Liberal’s Mid-America Air Museum.
After an absence of several years, an air show is returning to the Seward County community, and director Ronda Maxwell said the Liberal AirFair will bring with it some well-known acts.
Among those entertaining the crowd will be Kyle Franklin, who, according to his Web site, www.franklinairshow.com, took his first in-flight wing walk when he was 14 and was wowing audiences with it professionally by 17, making him, then, the youngest professional wing walker on the planet.
“Audiences get their first taste of Franklin’s abilities when he flies solo with the 500 horsepower Waco ‘Mystery Ship’ and wows the crowds with the amazing lomcevak and breathtaking inverted flat spin,” the site said.
Franklin comes from a pedigree of talented pilots and air show stunt people, his father being legendary pilot Jimmy Franklin. Kyle’s wife and partner, Amanda, is the daughter of legendary pilot, Bobby Younkin.
“Together, Kyle and Amanda have created a swaggering, wing-walking pirate show that would make Captain Jack Sparrow gulp,” Franklin’s site said. “This flying circus of ‘Pirated Skies’ will have audiences yelling ‘Aaargh’ as Amanda wing walks, playing the part of ‘Scandalous Scarlett’ and sword fights with Kyle, the menacing ‘Captain Kyro.’”
Also participating in AirFair 2010 is Skip Stewart, one of the most entertaining air show pilots in the country. He has nearly 8,000 hours of flying experience, according to his Web site, www.skipstewartairshows.com.
The site also noted Stewart is an airline transport pilot, a certified flight instructor, has owned and operated an aerobatic flight school, competed in regional aerobatic competitions, worked as a chief pilot for a Fortune 100 company and has spent more than six years entertaining air show fans.
“Skip practices tirelessly in the airplane he custom built himself to insure the highest levels of proficiency,” the site said. “His show has been described as a ‘hard hitting brake dancing, rock-and-roll blow out’ and is sure to be a hit at your show.”
Maxwell said gates will be open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Oct. 2 at MAAM. Admission is free to both the air show and the museum. She said other acts will get involved as well.
“We will have flying acts, a parachute team and a car show, singing entertainment and food vendors,” she said. “We’re also going to have bounce houses for the kids. We’re adding things as we can.”
Maxwell said AirFair 2010 was put together by a group of individuals who believe that Liberal, in essence, owns the air show.
“Dodge City is known for Boot Hill and Beef Empire Days,” she said. “Garden City is known for having the 3i show. We’re the air show. We’re also a group of people that believe in the air museum and want to support it. We are putting on this small free air show made possible by an incredible group of sponsors that have stepped up to help us.”
Maxwell said the group is hoping to lay the groundwork to have a bigger show in 2012 to celebrate the 25th anniversary of MAAM.
“All proceeds, whatever we left over, is going to go to the air museum,” she said. “We’re able to take donations through the Heritage Foundation to make everything tax deductible for our sponsors.”
Maxwell said there are differences between this year’s show and those of the past.
“It is small, it’s just one day, and it’s free,” she said. “Those are the things that make it a little different.”