Father-son to appear on the Air Show

September 26, 2008 10:41:39 PM PDT
The only civilian ever to fly with the Blue Angels is performing at the California International Air Show this weekend, and so is his son. They are the only father-son team on the circuit.

Sometimes a single look is all you need to know that a passion has been perfected. Everything you see after that just confirms what you suspected.

"When I'm performing, it's truly an art form, the wings become my arms, the airplane becomes a part of me and I am dancing," said Oracle Challenger Pilot Sean D. Tucker.

Sean Tucker has been sky dancing since 1975, logging 23,000 flight hours and pursuing his craft in a place he calls the third dimension.

"I twirl and tumble and fly backwards," said Sean.

Sean flies a highly modified biplane, the Oracle Challenger, and leads an aerobatic team called The Collaborators.

Sean's precision and innovation in the sky has earned him the highest of professional accolades. This year, he was inducted into the National Aviation Hall of Fame joining such people as John Glen, Charles Lindbergh, and the Wright Brothers.

Now his son Eric is following his lead as The Collaborators' left wing. It's the only father son team on the air show circuit.

"He's my biggest aviation mentor hands down because he's the ultimate in an aviation professional," said Eric Tucker from The Collaborators.

If you are wondering if Sean Tucker has ever had a close call performing these dangerous stunts, the answer is yes. He has had to bail from his plane three times, most recently in 2006 during an practice air show run in Louisiana.

There was a mechanical failure. He positioned his plane to go down in an empty field and managed to parachute to safety.

"When stuff like that happens to you it's pretty scary and you question yourself, 'Is it worth it?' and 'Do I still have the nerve?'" said Sean.

Two years later the answer is obvious. Sean is performing this weekend at the California International Airshow in Salinas and next month at Fleet Week in San Francisco.

"My whole goal is looking for that perfect performance to connect with the audience and have them live vicariously through me. And they get it," said Sean.

The audience gets what Sean Tucker gives; a joyous display of incredible skill.

Related Links:

  • California International Air Show
  • San Francisco Fleet Week 2008


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