A 25-year-old Kalispell woman who survived a local plane crash seven years ago was named Miss Rodeo Montana 2019 on Saturday.
Kayla Seaman earned the title following four days of competition in horsemanship, appearance, poise and projection and personality. Seaman won all four categories, as well as scoring the highest on a written test. She is the daughter of Michael Seaman and Mary Beth Seaman.
Seaman is a graduate of Montana State University with degrees in marketing and management, as well as a minor in entrepreneurship and small business management. Additionally, she has nearly completed a Master of Business Administration degree through the University of Montana.
As Miss Rodeo Montana, she will promote Western heritage and rodeo within the state, working with rodeo competitors, committees, sponsors, media and rodeo fans.
Seaman said she “is very excited and eager” to promote the sport of rodeo and the Western way of life utilizing her marketing background.
Seaman was a senior at Flathead High School when she was the co-pilot of a small plane that flipped upside-down and crashed into a south Kalispell home in February 2012. Her father, Michael Seaman, was piloting the plane. She, her father and another passenger, plus two dogs on board, sustained only minor injuries.
Kayla had taken an aviation class her sophomore year and took every opportunity to practice flying with her dad. In a 2012 interview with the Daily Inter Lake, she told how her father taught her the importance of using caution and surveying emergency landing routes, quizzing her about places to land when they were up in the air.
“He’s always like, ‘You’ll never know when your engine is going to give out. No matter where you’re flying, know the best place to land,’” Seaman said during that interview.
They were on their way to a family wedding in north-central Montana when the plane experienced partial loss of engine power shortly after takeoff, according to a National Transportation Safety Board report.