Sean D. Tucker’s life is marked by a search for excellence and perfected skill. He is not satisfied unless he is learning, refining a skill, or conquering a fear. Whether he is heli-skiing, cave SCUBA diving, golfing, or flying his one-of-a kind aerobatic dream machine, Sean D. Tucker is full-throttle and extremely accomplished.
In airshow flying, Sean is the world’s premier performer in terms of entertainment value, piloting skill and most importantly, professionalism. He has been flying airshows world-wide since the mid-70’s and has won numerous aerobatic competitions. In that time, Sean has flown more than 1000 performances at more than 425 airshows, in front of more than 80 million fans. In the upcoming season alone, Tucker and Team Oracle will entertain nearly 10 million fans at 25 shows throughout North America. The level of professionalism and excitement in Sean’s airshow displays is no coincidence. He practices his airshow routine three times every day. Sean has devoted his entire adult life to exploring the art of aerobatic flight and after over 10,000 life-time practices, his passion continues to grow. He is more inspired by the magic and discipline of flight every single year and he continues to improve his skills as an aviator. Sean’s airplane, the Oracle Bi-Plane, has also continued to improve each year. Sean started with a factory built Pitts Special 30 years ago and modified it each year. After reaching the limits of the Pitts, Tucker’s team designed a one of a kind airplane that could do anything that Sean asked of it. This resulted in the most high-performance aerobatic aircraft in the world, the Oracle Bi-Plane. It is a fire-breathing monster with over 400 horsepower, weighs just over 1200 pounds and responds to the slightest pressure on the control stick even at 300 mph. Sean has become so in-tune with his machine that, while performing, the control stick becomes his feathers and the aircraft, his body. To endure the extreme physical demands of each routine, Sean maintains a rigorous physical training schedule by working-out over 340 days per year in a routine of jogging and weight-lifting on alternating days. In addition to being a phenomenal aviator, he is also a larger than life character who touches the heart of his fans and inspires millions of Americans. When asked about flying airshows, Sean responds, “I like to think that I bring the fans’ dreams of flying into the plane with me and there’s nowhere I’d rather be than in the cockpit. That’s why I train so hard to keep a finely tuned edge!” Sean is extremely passionate about every aspect of the Team Oracle program. His self proclaimed goal is to “share the magic of flight with Team Oracle’s guests by inspiring and thrilling them. I want them to go away saying that the airshow was one of the most engaging days of their lives.” This energy is infectious; guests frequently go away with rekindled enthusiasm for their own passions in life. Sean D. Tucker: Living Dreams… Inspired by Freedom. Sean’s signature closing statement, “the three best words in the English language… God Bless America.
Expanding on his love of flying, Tucker created the Tutima Academy of Aviation Safety, a world-class flight training institution dedicated to setting and spreading the standard for aviation safety in aerobatics and aviation at large. The Academy offers a variety of courses including stall/spin recognition and recovery training, aerobatic proficiency training, a low-level aerobatic mentorship program, and formation aerobatic flight training, which can be found no-where else in the world. Click here to find out more.
Sean is a leader in the airshow business as well as the larger aviation industry. He has received all of the airshow industry’s highest honors. Additionally, Sean has been inducted into the National Aviation Hall of Fame. This raises Sean into an elite group of aviators and astronauts that includes General Jimmy Doolittle, General ‘Chuck’ Yeager, Bob Hoover, Gene Cernan and John Glenn. However, Sean is no where near the end of his career. He continues to passionately develop the art form of Sky Dancing thru an exploration of formation aerobatics and the Collaborators Formation Aerobatic Team.
- National Aviation Hall of Fame Inductee – 2008
- International Council of Airshows Hall of Fame Inductee – 2007
- Living Legend in Aviation Award – 2007
- Crystal Eagle Award by the National Aeronautics Association – 2006
- Named one of the 25 “Living Legends of Flight” by the National Air & Space Smithsonian – 2003
- Inductee in the USAF Gathering of Eagles – 2001
- Honorary Thunderbird, Blue Angel & Snowbird
- World Airshow Federation Champion – 2000
- International Council of Airshows Sword of Excellence – 2000
- Undefeated Champion of the Championship Airshow Pilots Association Challenge – 1998-2001
- General Aviation News and Flyer Reader’s Choice Award for Best Male Performer – 1997
- The Art Scholl Memorial Showmanship Award and The Bill Barber Award for Air Show Showmanship (the two most prestigious awards in the airshow industry) – 1992
- U.S. National Advanced Aerobatic Champion – 1988
- Sean has logged over 20,000 hours flying, which if done all at once, would take over two years, 24 hours a day.
- During media photo flights, Sean will fly upright and inverted within 5 feet of the support plane carrying photographers.
- Twice during the performance, Sean will fly the aircraft backwards, straight-down, tail-first at more than 100 mph.
- Over half of Sean’s maneuvers are original and have never been duplicated by another aerobatic pilot.
- Sean is the world’s only pilot to perform a triple ribbon cut. He flies through the ribbons at 220 mph in right knife-edge for the first ribbon, then left knife-edge and finally inverted. The ribbons are only 25 feet off of the ground and 750 feet between each set.
- Sean has a revolutionary set of wings that use 8 ailerons instead of 4.
- The tail on Sean’s airplane is modeled after the tail used on high-performance remote control airplanes.