Air show legend will fly final solo aerobatics at Dayton Air Show

Sean D. Tucker in a photo flight over Dayton. TY GREENLEES / STAFF

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Sean D. Tucker in a photo flight over Dayton. TY GREENLEES / STAFF

After decades of loops, flips and aerial rolls, aerobatic legend Sean D. Tucker will fly his last solo performance at the Vectren Dayton Air Show this summer.

Tucker, who turned 65 in 2017, told the Dayton Daily News last June he would retire after flying the show circuit next season in a red Oracle Challenger III. But he said he hoped to form a new aerobatic team once his solo career was over.

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“I’m not quitting,” the Salinas, Calif., resident said then in Dayton. “I still love flying, but my guts telling me, you know, this airplane (Oracle Challenger III) is going to the Smithsonian. What an honor.

“We want,” he added with a laugh, “to keep her safe.”

The Dayton Air Show announced Thursday that Tucker will perform June 23-24 at Dayton International Airport with other show headliners, such as the U.S. Navy Blue Angels and a solo performance of the F-22 Raptor stealth fighter.

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“Sean is just absolutely phenomenal,” air show executive Director Terry Grevious said in an interview. “He is no question one of the best aerobatic performers to have performed in America in my opinion. He does things that nobody else has done or can duplicate.”

Tucker, who has logged more than 26,000 hours flying, first performed in Dayton in 1993, according to the air show, and has been a regular many years since.

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