IN LOVING MEMORY OF
Franklin J.P. Augustus
Saturday, August 31, 2019
4:00 p.m. until 6:00 p.m.
The Lakefront Airport,
6001 Stars and Stripes Blvd.,
New Orleans, LA.
Military Honors to follow.
Franklin J.P. Augustus departed this life on Friday, August 16, 2019 at the age of 69 years old. He was the father of Brandi (Walter) Ashley; Son of the late Annie Cooper Augustus and Henry Augustus; Brother of Henry A. Augustus, Eric (Ellen) Augustus, Ronald (Patrice) Simeon, Mari Feutado and Bernadine (Abe) Mackey; Nephew of Mabel Augustus; Grandfather of Amaya and Walter Ashley. Also survived by a dear friend, Lea Young, a host of nieces, nephews, cousins, other relatives and friends who will cherish his memory.
Franklin J.P. Augustus, CFI, The DRUG FIGHTER, was a native of New Orleans, a licensed pilot since 1977 and the first African American civilian air-show aerobatic pilot. He logged in over 20,000 flight hours in his career. Franklin served in the United States Army, Military Police, CID and Narcotics Officer. He was a longtime community activist who worked with young people in an effort to introduce aviation to them. The DRUG FIGHTER, is a superhero he created to combat drug abuse and deliver a message of hope to the youth. Franklin was the president of the Lake Charles Tuskegee Airmen Chapter Inc. and a reserve deputy with the Orleans Parish Sheriff’s Office. He received an award for his “Unselfish Acts” during Hurricane Katrina at the Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport (MSY). His accomplishments, affiliations and air show notables are many, but most of all he loved flying.
Relatives, friends of the family are invited to attend The Celebration of Life for Franklin J.P. Augustus, The DRUG FIGHTER, Pilot, Aviator, Airman on Saturday, August 31, 2019 from 4:00 p.m. until 6:00 p.m. at The Lakefront Airport, 6001 Stars and Stripes Blvd., New Orleans, LA. Military Honors to follow. Rev. David M. Patin Sr. and Gwiena Magee Patin, Directors.
In lieu of flowers, please send donations to the Franklin J. P. Augustus Aviation Scholarship Fund c/o Tuskegee Airmen, Lake Charles Chapter, P.O. Box 57041, NOLA 70157. Professional Service Entrusted to: LITTLEJOHN FUNERAL HOME, 2163 Aubry Street, Cal K. Johnson, Funeral Director/Manager, Info: (504) 940-0045.
Published in The Times-Picayune on Aug. 30, 2019
Memorial Tribute Hosted by
Lakefront Management Airport Committee
Welcome: Wilma Heaton
Marlin N. Gusman, Orleans Parish Sheriff
Henry Augustus, Family Representative
Lea Young, Secretary/Treasurer, Tuskegee Airmen Lake Charles
Eugene Green, Vice Chairman LMA
Paul Klein, Vice President, Tuskegee Airmen Lake Charles
Mary Donahue, Former FAA Agent
Joe Bartels, President, Lakefront Hangar Association
C. J. Gallo, Pilot/Friend
Attendees invited to share a few words
Franklin J. P. Augustus, 69, died on August 16, 2019 in a plane crash near New Orleans Lakefront Airport. The accident also took the life of his passenger, Nancy Parker, 53, WVUE -TV-Fox 8 New Orleans news anchor, while filming a news story. He was the father of Brandi (Walter) Ashley; Son of the late Annie Cooper Augustus and Henry Augustus; Brother of Henry A. Augustus, Eric (Ellen) Augustus, Ronald (Patrice) Simeon, Mari Feutado and Bernadine (Abe) Mackey; Nephew of Mabel Augustus; and Grandfather of Amaya and Walter Ashley. He is also survived by a dear friend, Lea Young, and a host of nieces, nephews, cousins, other relatives and friends who will cherish his memory.
Franklin was a beloved regular at Lakefront Airport where he often brought children to open their world to one of his greatest passions — aviation. He frequently visited schools to encourage students to aspire to become pilots. Franklin was President of the Lake Charles Chapter of the Tuskegee Airmen, Inc. Partnering with The Drug Fighter, an organization seeking to prevent substance abuse and youth violence, he dressed as a superhero and tried to persuade kids to stay away from drugs.
Franklin grew up across from the old Magnolia public housing complex, and said in an article several decades ago, “I want to let the young people know that if I can make it, anybody can.” He was a life long community activist who worked with young people in an effort to introduce them to aviation.
Franklin had been flying since he was 19 and had gotten hooked on aerobatics after taking advance flight instruction in 1978. He earned his Private Pilot License in 1977, Commercial License in 1978 and Flight Instructor Certificate in 1979. He described himself thirty years ago as the world’s only black civilian air -show acrobatic pilot.
Franklin served in the United States Army from 1969 -1973 and attended North Carolina State University from 1970 -1973.
Franklin’s varied professional career included: Drug Fighter® LLC; President, Super Air Shows International, Inc.; Atlanta Air Shows & Stunts International, Inc.; Owner, Franklin J.P. Augustus Detective Agency; WWL Radio Air Traffic Watch; Department Head, New Orleans Department of Recreation Martial Arts Division; Reserve Program Instructor, Terrebonne Parish Sheriff’s Office Flying Posse; Orleans Parish Sheriff’s Office Board Of Directors SRDU; FAA Accident Prevention Counselor (SW-FSDO-62); Movie Stuntman; and Chief Pilot and Director of Aviation, GA Institute of Technology.
Franklin participated in numerous organizations, including the International Council of Air Shows; Black Wings Pilot Association (Past President); Tuskegee Airman (Former Board Member & LA. Chapter Vice President); Negro Airmen International; International Aerobatic Club, Cajun Chapter #72 (Charter Member); Crescent City Aviators, Black Wings (Past President); Experimental Aircraft Association, New Orleans and Slidell Chapters; and The Drug Fighter Program (President/Founder).
The airshows in which he participated and his numerous aviation accomplishments will be well remembered. Franklin was listed in Who’s Who Among Black Americans, was a Grand Master in Martial Arts, and certified in SCUBA.
Sources: The New Orleans Agenda & Times Picayune