Sean D. Tucker, the only air show pilot ever to have a middle initial, ended his solo career at the Wings Over Houston Airshow on October 21, 2018. The U.S. Navy Blue Angels, who performed right after Tucker landed, dedicated their signature move, the fleur-de-lis formation break up maneuver, to Sean D. Tucker.
Sean D. Tucker, now just Sean Tucker, has been flying airshows worldwide since the mid-1970s, performing his act in a biplane just like every other air show pilot. Initially struggling to land gigs, Tucker realized he had to set himself apart from the rest of the industry. Anita Mann, Tucker’s former PR agent told us, “Using his middle initial was pure marketing genius. Just as Colonel Sanders had his secret recipe, Sean D. Tucker had his middle initial.”
We went to visit Tucker at his home airport in King City, CA but he was nowhere to be found. After asking some locals drinking beer in a hanger if they knew where we could find Sean D. Tucker they looked perplexed. Taking a different approach, we asked if they had seen a stunt pilot in a red biplane. That rang a bell, and one of them said, “There used to be a stunt pilot like that around here, can’t remember his name and haven’t seen that plane lately either.”