Masters of Disaster Remembered

Discussion in 'Street and Documentary' started by cenelsonfoto, Dec 21, 2006.

  1. Bob Younkin was one of the fliers I shot way back in 2005 during an airshow at Fayetteville's Drake Field. He was a member of the Masters of Disaster, a trio of pilots who performed dogfighting without a plan, ie. improvised. They had only been doing it that way, according to those I've spoken to, for a brief period. They lived through it, that afternoon at Fayetteville, but the next event they appeared at proved fatal for Younkin and one of his fellow pilots. I haven't been to the museum at Drake for months. I decided today was a good day to wander through, burn some time. One of Younkin's planes, a Leer, is now stored in the hangar. It was good to get a look at it up close. I recall thinking, as I sat watching the trio perform that day, that they had to be plumb crazy to fly like that - unscripted, smoke every-damned-where, completely improvised maneuvers - and I wondered how long they would get away with it. Little did I know it would be their last successful day in the air. You have to see it to believe it. It was insanity. While there, I did the Military tour, spoke to some of the fellows who spend their time repairing, restoring, and maintaining the old birds, tracks, and helos. [​IMG]
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  2. Years ago I attended a "fly-in" in Orange,MA with a friend who was (in a previous life) an
    airplane mechanic in Alaska. It was amazing. The biggest plane that landed was a DC-3,
    which looked huge when landing, and surprisingly small when looked at close up. What was
    scary was my friend's auditory identification of planes based on the pitch of their engines -- I
    guess this is particularly easy for seaplanes.

    Anyway, thanks for reviving the memory of that day with your pictures...and I'm sorry to hear
    about the fatalities....
     
  3. William, you're welcome. Thank you for taking an interest in the thread. I'm glad the images sparked memories.
     
  4. Fayetteville NC or Akansas?
     
  5. Arkansas.
     
  6. Hi CE, I spent a lot of time at Drake Field as a kid during the fifties. I was last there this past summer. It's a shame about Bob Younkin. I was fortunate to visit the Younkin facility in Springdale a number of years ago, where we saw "Mr. Mulligan" under construction. I'm certain the Masters of Disaster (a prophetic name) knew the risks they were taking, but flying like that unscripted is madness. Thanks for sharing the photos. Phil
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  7. Happy holidays, Phil. Good to hear from you again. I got the Mulligan in the background of that one shot - thanks for the better POV on yours.

    Best,
    C.
     
  8. Hi CE,

    I was just looking back through these images and I really like the one of the twin engine - I think it is either a Lockheed 12 or a vintage Twin Beech. The lighting is excellent, and I the reflectins of the windows on the aluminum are really neat.

    Phil
     
  9. Beech Model 18. Nice.
     

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