Once you learn how to fly an airplane you begin to think about what you can do with an airplane, and learning to fly upside down is one of the first that comes to mind. For the uninitiated Air & Space Magazine published an article titled "How Things Work: Flying Upside Down" which is pretty interesting. It gives a great explanation of what needs to happen to the airplane if you want to fly upside down. Sean D. Tucker Some pilots are born to fly upside down, and among those elite pilots is one Sean D. Tucker. Sean's has spent a lifetime searching for excellence and perfecting his flying skills. Tucker is one of those "throttle to the wall" kind of pilots who make airplanes do things ordinary human beings wouldn't believe are possible. Since the mid 1970s Sean has performed more than 1,000 times at more than 450 airshows in front of more than 100,000,000 fans! A Living Legend Among his many accomplishments Sean has been named one of the Living Legends of Aviation, was inducted into the National Aviation Hall of Fame, received the Crystal Eagle Award, the General Charles E. Yeager International Aeronautical Achievement Award and inducted into the USAF Gathering Eagles. This puts Sean in an elite group of aviators that include Jimmy Doolittle, Chuck Yeager, Bob Hoover, Gene Cernan and John Glenn. The Early Days From 1994 through 1997 Sean flew the 330hp Randolph Sunglass Challenger tumbling through the skies in his famous "Sky Dance" routine. But his night time performance of "The Star Dance" in the Randolph Sunglass Challenger was more like an aerial ballet, complete with wingtip and tail mounted pyrotechnics to delight the crowds. Every day Sean strives to improve his flying technique with a stringent personal fitness regimen and daily practice sessions in the air where he loves to fly upside down. He works hard to hone his timing to within a few hundredths of a second to safely perform his repertoire of breathtaking, high powered maneuvers performed split seconds above the ground. Learning To Fly Upside Down Sean began learning to fly upside down in 1973 at Amelie Reid School in San Jose, CA, and two years later purchased his first aerobatic aircraft. By 1988 he reached the pinnacle of aerobatics by being named the U.S. National Advanced Aerobatic Champion that year. Team Oracle Today Sean Tucker flies for Team Oracle performing at a series of airshows flying his red and white Oracle aircraft. 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. See Sean Tucker In Action Anyone Else Want To Fly Upside Down? I don't know about you but I don't have to become a Sean Tucker in order to learn to fly upside down - you just have to have the right aircraft, take some lessons from an expert, fly safely and have fun. You ready to learn how to fly upside down? In the meantime keep your wings straight and level Hersch! Please share "Who Else Wants To Fly Upside Down?" with your friends using the buttons below. Thanks! Until next time keep your wings straight and level Hersch! JetAviator7+ ps: Don't forget to sign up for updates via email for "All Things Aviation" here!
by John White •