DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – If you’ve noticed something in the air around the Miami Valley this week, you’re not alone. Performers are preparing for the Vectren Dayton Airshow this weekend.
Famed aerobatics pilot Sean Tucker and Team Oracle invited to WDTN to experience the excitement firsthand and I was volunteered to join Tucker for a ride.
Tucker has decades of experience flying in airshows across the country and as we were going over protocol Wednesday, he told me he still loves the thrill.
“I am more alive in the sky than I am on the ground,” Tucker said. “ I just love being up there.”
He tells his audiences the performance is “sky dancing,” and his crew on Team Oracle acted as back-up dancers to show me the first moves in safety.
The team guided me through proper use of gear, strapped me into the front seat of Tucker’s plane and wished me luck.
Once we were airborne, the seasoned pilot became a choreographer.
“I call flying sky dancing because that’s what you’re truly doing,” Tucker said. “In the third dimension you get to go ballistic and you get to pull away from the earth and you get to do these incredible, fun figures in the sky, I feel like a little kid up there every time I go flying.”
In seconds, we were flying high above the Miami Valley and in minutes we had already reached Troy.
A small chase plane full of TV and newspaper photographers followed us to snap photos of the view.
WDTN photographer Darren King recorded our flight during his first ever time aboard an airplane.
He held a steady shot and I only let out a few screams when Tucker cruised into our first barrel roll.
Tucker is a daredevil now, but he told me he started learning aerobatics to combat his fear of flying.
“I fell so in love with what I was afraid of that it’s become my lifelong passion,” he said. “I now have over 26,000 hours of flying time and I’m still learning.”
After a few more maneuvers, we landed back at the airport.
My adrenaline was still pumping, and Tucker promises the audience at the airshow will get a similar rush just from watching his “sky dancing.”
He said, “I fly that airplane 400 times in a year and I’m always working on choreographing a sequence that thrills the audience, that excites the audience and empowers them to live their dreams. I have a blast when I come to Dayton.”
Flying in the sky with Sean Tucker