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Air Show Legend Sean Tucker Will Retire from Solo Flying after 2018
The 65-year-old icon isn’t closing the hangar door for good, though, as he plans to create a formation flying team.
Having just wrapped up another wild and exciting performance with Team Oracle at the Vectren Dayton Air Show in Ohio, Sean Tucker will spend the next month, like most of us, preparing for EAA AirVenture Oshkosh. And while Tucker has been electrifying fans with his aerobatic routines for more than 40 years, these performances will become a little more exciting in the coming months, because of the news that Tucker will retire from solo flying after the 2018 season.
As he told the Dayton Daily News, though, 2018 will not be his farewell tour. He will seek out sponsors for a new formation flying team, so air shows across the U.S. will still feature his choreographed routines.
“I’m not quitting,” he said. “I still love flying, but my gut’s telling me, you know, this airplane (Oracle Challenger III) is going to the Smithsonian. What an honor. We want to keep her safe.”
At age 65, this living legend of flight has racked up an incredible list of awards, honors and achievements. He has been inducted into both the National Aviation and International Aviation Air and Space Halls of Fame; he is an honorary member of the Navy Blue Angels, Air Force Thunderbirds, U.S. Army Golden Knights, Royal Canadian Snowbirds, and Brazilian Air Force Smoke Squadron; he’s won the General Charles E. Yeager International Aeronautical Achievements and Living Legend in Aviation Awards, as well as the Bill Barber Award for Airshow Showmanship; he’s a World Airshow Federation and U.S. National Advanced Aerobatic champion; and let’s not forget that he’s the king of the triple ribbon cut.
And that’s just the brief summary.
One of his most important efforts continues to be the Young Eagles program, created “to introduce and inspire kids in the world of aviation.” Most recently, Tucker took an elated Ohio high school student and contest winner on a flight that he called his “funnest ride.”