Sean D. Tucker

 
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SEAN D. TUCKER 

Sean began studying aerobatics in 1973 at the Amelia Reid School in San Jose, and by 1975 purchased his first aerobatic airplane. Shortly after that purchase, Sean started flying competitively, and in 1988 was named the U.S. National Advanced Aerobatic Champion . He was also 1988 Airman of the Year, and in 1991 was named Ambassador of the Air by the California state legislature. Most recently, in 1992 Sean became the first performer to ever win the Bill Barber Award for Showmanship and the Art School Memorial Showmanship Award in the same year. These are the two most prestigious awards given in the airshow industry. Both awards honor "The Best of the Best" airshow performers and are selected by a panel of professional airshow pilots who also happen to be prior winners of the awards. 1992 also saw Sean winning the General Aviation News and Flyer's Reader's Choice Award as the #1 male performer in the industry. Sean holds a commercial license with an instrument rating for single and multi-engine airplanes and also helicopters. He has flown over 13,000 hours, including over 3,000 of aerobatic flying. Early in 1992 Sean was designated by the FAA as an Airshow Certification Evaluator (ACE), responsible for evaluating, reviewing and certificating aerobatic pilots. Sean strives every day to improve his flying performance with a stringent self-imposed personal fitness regimen and daily practice sessions in the air. Absolute control is necessary to successfully carry out his aerobatic performances. Timing must be honed to within hundredths of a second to safely reproduce his original repertoire of breathtaking, high-powered maneuvers, performed split-seconds above the ground. Prior to every performance, Tucker dons headphones and flies his routine in meticulous detail on the ground, picturing landmarks as he paces and turns, replicating the exact sequence he'll be flying in his powerful aerobatic performance. 

 
 
 
Sean Tucker
Sean's unique, 330+ "Top Secret" horsepower Randolph Sunglasses Challenger aircraft is an extensively modified, factory-built, Piths S-2S biplane. It's engine is overhauled by Ly-Con of Visalia, CA, the propeller is overhauled by US Propeller in San Carlos, CA and the wings are completely rebuilt at the end of each season as part of an exhaustive overhaul process. Regular, extensive inspections are made of the plane during the performance season and thorough pre-flight and post-flight inspections are made every time the aircraft takes to the air The aircraft will burn approximately 9 gallons of fuel, 6 gallons of "smoke oil", and 4 wing tip-mounted colored smoke canisters during the pounding 1 4-minute performance. When fueled and ready to go, the plane weighs only 1,160 pounds. It is powered by a custom-modified Lycoming AE10-540 engine that turns a custom three-bladed composite propeller and breathes through an RSA-IO fuel servo that has been specially modified by Airflow Performance, Inc. of Spartanburg, SC. Special thanks must also go to Para-Phernalia Parachutes of Arlington, WA. When enroute to the next show, the Randolph Sunglass Challenger is fitted with two specially-designed external "ferry tanks". These quickly removable fuel tanks hang underneath the aircraft and closely resemble a couple of bombs. They add 42 gallons of fuel to the 22 gallons that can be carried in the plane's internal fuel tank. Sean also re-installs a modified BFGoodrich Flight Systems loran that allows him to navigate more accurately and efficiently. The aircraft will also be loaded with up to 100 pounds of baggage and support equipment. Once it lands at the show site, the Randolph Sunglass Challenger can be unloaded and reconfigured for hard-charge aerobatics in less than 30 minutes. 
 
 
Sean D. Tucker
 
Sean D. Tucker's "Sky Dance" daytime performance begins with an unbelievable sequence of events that sees him tumbling the 330 HP Randolph Sunglass Challenger end-over-end one second and then flying it tail-first, straight towards the earth for 500 feet at negative airspeeds of up to90 MPH while rolling his aircraft counter-clockwise! Before the first spiral of smoke begins to fade, Tucker plunges into a powerful and complex aerobatics sequence that demonstrates the talent that won him the coveted U.S. National Advanced Aerobatics Trophy in 1988. Tucker's spectacular sequence includes original, adrenaline-pumping maneuvers like "The Centrifuge", "The Son of Edwin", "The Spiralling Tower", "The Tucker Upper", "The Harrier Pass" and the heart-stopping finale "The Triple ribbon Cut". THE STAR DANCE Introduced during the 1992 season, Sean D. Tucker's night time performance is more of an aerial ballet, complete with wingtip and tail-mounted pyrotechnics. The act creates swirling and weaving tendrils of colored sparks in coordination with an original musical score designed to enhance the sensory experience. Star Dance begins with Tucker streaking into the sky in the Randolph Sunglass Challenger, leaving two 300 to 400 foot trails of golden sparks behind him. He then performs a series of fast paced maneuvers overhead, trailing the magnificent comet-like tails of sparks throughout. Occasionally a brightly colored ball is ejected from the airplane that falls for a few seconds and then erupts into a brilliant, multi-colored starburst whose twinkling colors get slowly dimmer as they fall from the sky. Created with almost 100 pounds of custom-produced pyrotechnic devices, the sparkles and starbursts emitted during Tucker's 7-minute Star Dance can be seen from up to 40 miles away. 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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