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Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Amanda Franklin March 30 update

During Amanda's last surgery doctors adjusted some of the orbital bone fractures that they fixed last week to avoid any possibilities of double vision. They also removed part of her left pinky and some skin grafts that her body was rejecting.

She is scheduled for surgery tomorrow to work on the skin on her neck. Please continue to pray for her.

FOX News plans to do a feature on Kyle and Amanda but I don't have the date or time.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Amanda Franklin March 28 Update

Amanda is back in surgery today. Doctors want to check for infections and may do some grafting. It was not previously scheduled. Please pray for her.

Kyle is getting out of the hospital today.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Amanda Franklin March 26 Update

Amanda's surgery yesterday went well. Doctors were able to fix her broken facial bones. Now it's recovery time from all her recent surgeries. There are no more scheduled at this time.

Please keep her in your prayers!

Friday, March 25, 2011

Amanda Franklin March 25 update

Amanda is scheduled for surgery again this morning to repair the fractures in her face. Please continue to pray for her.

Her surgery on Wednesday resulted in doctors amputating half the length of the fingers on her right hand, and part of three fingers on her left hand, saving her thumb and pinkie. Doctors also predict it will be another two months before she is awake and able to talk.

Doctors have begun to rotate her and her bed to a 45-degree angle for short periods. She's also depending less on her ventilator. These are good signs.

Kyle asks that people continue to pray for her. He also asked for donations to one of Amanda's funds to help defray her medical expenses. He is doing well and should be released from the hospital in the next few days.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Amanda Franklin March 22

Amanda's surgery yesterday went well. They addressed Amanda's facial injuries and did a little skin grafting that went very well and looks as if it is taking. She is in "stabilized" condition.

There will be another surgery on Wednesday that will focus on her ears and fingers. Kyle asked that everybody say a prayer that the doctors are able to save the majority of her fingers and fingernails.

Amanda needs all the prayers and healing thoughts as possible!

Monday, March 21, 2011

Amanda Franklin

The following post was on Kyle and Amanda's FB yesterday. The Facebook page is Franklin's Flying Circus. Amanda also has a Caring Bridge page ( Both of these sites will have continued information directly from the family.

Kyle & Amanda's story appeared on the Today Show this morning at 0730 EST. It was a very touching piece that showed the accident, interviewed a first responder and Kyle, and then allowed the two to meet. During Kyle's interview he discussed the full extent of Amanda's injuries.

Please understand I was not at liberty to discuss the full extent without Kyle's permission. Within a few minutes of the accident, word spread that it was a fatality on both parts so it was Matt's intention to get word out immediately that they were both indeed alive and stable. Until this morning, all I was authorized to say was that Amanda was stable from a day-to-day basis.

Kyle posted the following to Franklin's Flying Circus Facebook page:

Up to this point most people did not no the extent of Amanda's injuries, that was because we were still finding them out ourselves.

As of today Amanda is in "stabilized" condition but please keep in mind that "stabilized" does not necessarily mean "stable", she remains in the Burn Intensive Care Unit.

She sustained a significant inhalation injury from inhaling smoke and fire, because of this, she has a breathing tube and a machine helping her breath.

She is burned on almost 70% of her body. 64% of which are "Full Thickness" (3rd Degree) burns. This includes her face.

She sustained numerous fractures to her face and orbital bones around her eyes. As fare as they can tell she can still see fine.

She also sustained fractures to her neck and back. In other words she has a broken neck and back but at this time she does not appear to be paralyzed.

That is the bulk of her major injuries and there are many more that I will not list. But the good news is she's young, healthy, athletic, in great shape and shes a fighter. The doctors keep bragging on how strong she is and how well she did in her 1st surgery. Amanda goes back in for her 2nd surgery tomorrow morning around 7am. Please keep her in your thoughts and prayers. I will let you know how things go tomorrow.
 If you would like to help Amanda please donate at ether of the fallowing two fund sites "Franklin Fund" (tax deductible) or "The Kyle and Amanda Fund" (non tax deductible).

Thank you for all your support, prayers and God bless you all.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Kyle and Amanda March 19 Update

Kyle's skin-grafting surgery went well yesterday. Amanda is recuperating from her surgery earlier in the week and is scheduled for more surgery on Monday.

Keep praying for them!

Murder Takes a Ride Cover

Check it out!

Here's the cover for my new mystery, Murder Takes a Ride, set in Branson, Missouri.

It will be available in print and e-book formats this spring!

While working at a ride in a Branson amusement park, Hap Lynch discovers a dead man. Will his former experience as a police officer help him find the killer? Can Luke, his frisky Bichon puppy, help sniff out the clues? Is the killer one of his co-workers?

Photo on the front cover is courtesy of Brenda Meadows of Meadows Images and is a shot of springtime in downtown Branson.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Kyle & Amanda Mar 18 Update

Kyle is scheduled for skin-grafting surgery today. Doctors will be grafting skin to burn areas on his arms.

Amanda is recovering from her earlier surgery and is scheduled to have another surgery late next week.

She is still rated in serious but stable condition. She will need all the prayers we can send her way on her long road to recovery. Good news is that doctors say her youth and good health are speeding up her progress.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Franklin Update

Amanda has been in surgery much of today and the doctors say it's going well. Kyle is recovering from burns to his arms and hands that he suffered when he tried to rescue Amanda from the burning plane. Both are in the Burn Unit at Brooks Army Medical Center in San Antonio.

Members of the family came to Brownsville yesterday to remove the plane from the crash site. They will take it back to their home in Missouri. The engine will be removed and sent to Tulsa for analysis.

Bahia Grande Wetlands in South Texas

Harris's Hawk
Yesterday we visited the Bahia Grande, one of the largest wetlands restoration projects in America, and for a morning focused on life’s beauty rather than the tragedies in Japan and Kyle and Amanda Franklin’s air crash.

The Bahia Grande is a wetlands area that lies on both sides of Hwy 48 between Port Isabel and Brownsville, Texas. Once home to many species of marine life, the 11,000-acre area dried up as a result of the dredging of the Brownsville Ship Channel in the 1930s. When tidal waters could no longer flow into the area, the abundant fish and wildlife disappeared. In their place, the combination of wind and sand flats created health problems for surrounding communities.

Eastern Meadowlark

In recent years, Laguna Atascosa Wildlife Refuge purchased more than 21,000 acres of land between the two cities. Over the next years, an amazing reclamation project began that took the cooperation of sixty-five governments (federal, state and local), government agencies, foundations, businesses, universities and schools. Today it shines as a testament to what can be accomplished by people and organizations working together.

The sand flats are gone, replaced by wetlands that provide a critical habitat to many species of wildlife. Since the newly dredged channel opened the area to tidal waters from the Laguna Madre Bay and the Gulf of Mexico, thousands of students and community members have volunteered their time in the replanting of native vegetation.

 Yesterday we discovered the results of that ten-year effort. The amount of re-flooded land and the islands that have already been reclaimed as wildlife nesting areas amazed us. Our group, members of the Bay Area Birding Group, counted many species of birds and waterfowl. We counted a couple dozen nilgai (a member of the antelope family imported from India and Pakistan into Texas years ago).

Abundant birds of prey, songbirds, shorebirds and waterfowl give visitors great viewing and photographing opportunities. You can sign up for the tour through the Laguna Atascosa Wildlife Refuge. It’s a tour that we highly recommend.


Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Kyle and Amanda Franklin Update

The latest report has Kyle Franklin in improved condition. Amanda's burns have been reported as severe and her condition as stable. Both are being treated for burns suffered in their plane crash Saturday during Air Fiesta in Brownsville.

They will continue to need your prayers!

The RGV Wing of the Commemorative Air Force reports that a fund has been set up for them.

Donations are being handled by The Moonlight Fund, "a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that provides 24/7 assistance to burn survivors and their family members, as well as families who have lost a loved one to a burn injury by addressing their financial, emotional and physical needs in acute situations, in the hour of need."

Donations should be sent to:

'The Moonlight Fund'
P.O. Box 1299
Bandera, TX 78003

Please specify "Franklin Fund" in the check memo.

Donations can also be made through PayPal on The Moonlight Fund site.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Kyle and Amanda Franklin

Kyle and Amanda Franklin are both patients in a burn unit in a San Antonio hospital following their plane crash yesterday at the Brownsville Air Fiesta. Both suffered serious burns but remained stable today.The crash was apparently caused by engine failure.

Please continue to pray for Kyle, Amanda and their families.

The remainder of the air show was cancelled yesterday after their accident. The B-2 kept its scheduled 4:30  fly-over and dedicated it to Kyle and Amanda.

While today's show attendees missed the Franklins' Pirated Skies performance, they witnessed a great show that the Commemorative Air Force, producers of the event, dedicated to the couple. 

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Air Fiesta Crash Today

A fun and educational day ended in tragedy at Air Fiesta in Brownsville today. I spent the day with the pyro team (you will hear more about them in a future blog post).

Tonight I'm asking for your prayers for Kyle and Amanda Franklin, the acrobatic act known as Pirated Skies. Kyle is the pilot and Amanda is a wingwalker. During their act today, their plane crashed. They both suffered injuries and were taken to the hospital.

Please keep them and their families in your prayers!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Pyrotechnics Enhance Air Fiesta at Brownsville-SPI Airport

L to R: Harlan Lucas, Rodney Robinson & Richard Shull
If you've attended an air show, you've probably experienced the work of a pyrotechnics team. Chances are you haven't seen the team members - just the fire displays that bring a sense of realism to the show.

Four members of the Explosive Ordnance Detachment (EOD) of the Commemorative Air Force (CAF) are among the thirteen in North America who are approved by the Air Force Air Combat Command (ACC) to put on pyrotechnical displays for the Air Force.

Wall of Fire

Rodney Robinson, the Shooter in Charge (SIC), said his team will support planes in WWII and Vietnam demonstrations. Vietnam is the main demo this year and will include four types of planes: the A-1 Skyraider (SPAD), A-26, O-2 (a push-pull observation plane with props on the front and back, and a C-47 Spooky Gunship.

A-10 at Air Fiesta 2010

The pyro team will also provide support for the A-10 demo. The A-10s have arrived at the airport. Don't forget the B-2 flyover is Saturday at 4:30pm.

It promises to be an exciting show and a beautiful South Texas weekend so come on out and enjoy.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Air Fiesta 2011 at Brownsville-SPI Airport

If you're in the Rio Grande Valley, plan to attend the air show this weekend, March 11-13. Friday: gates open at 3:00, air show begins at 4:00. Saturday and Sunday: gates open at 9:00, air show begins around noon. New specialty acts this year include a wing walker act.

Pearl Harbor Re-enactment
Several years ago I saw a wing walker at the Branson Air Show. What an incredible act!

Plan to attend early to see all the aircraft on display, visit the arts & craft show and enjoy some good food.

AeroShell Acrobatic Team 2010

I love the WWII re-enactment performed every year at Air Fiesta. It really gives a sense of the scope of air strikes. Even though I've read many accounts and watched movie re-creations, it's something to see - and hear - it in person. The noise is incredible and the planes coming in, out and across your vision and your hearing range, give a real sense of what it must have been like for those who were there. The pyrotechnical demonstration makes me feel like I'm watching an air raid.

Air Fiesta is an annual event coordinated by the Rio Grande Valley Wing of the Commemorative Air Force. Everett and I are volunteer photographers again this year.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

My Next Book

Murder Takes a Ride

Watch for my latest book to arrive soon! The story takes place in and around Branson, Missouri. The main characters are folks who have worked together for several years.

 This mystery takes the reader to an imaginary amusement park in a real town. Hap Lynch, who came to Branson after a career on the Kansas City police force, is asked to help with a ride in the park. Late in the day, he discovers that one of the passengers fails to exit the ride. Unfortunately, the man is incapable of exiting anything because he has exited this life.

Can an ex-cop who never worked a homicide help a Branson detective solve the crime? The killer is convinced he committed the perfect crime. Did he?

Cover art is in the design process. Stay tuned. I'll post as soon as it's available.