Plane & Pilot
Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Excellence In Execution

Learn from your mentors, and be a mentor yourself

They taught me that persistence is the key to success in any endeavor, and to be the best of the best is a journey that takes a lifetime. They showed me the difference between spiritual health and physical health. While performing extreme aerobatic flying, pulling +9.5 G's and pushing -7.3 G's is an athletic event that requires a high level of fitness. Am I flying for the right reasons? Am I flying with joy? Am I sharing the magic of flight? Or am I just showing off?

My mentors defined "conviction of purpose" as never giving up on your dreams, never giving up on your commitment to excellence, and in an emergency, never giving up on yourself! As a famous air boss once said, "Fly it as far into the wreck as possible." Isn't that what Capt. Sully did when he landed, not crashed, onto the Hudson River?

They showed me how to harness my passion and have it become my fuel to excellence. It can best be described by a Tom Robbins quote: "If you take any activity, any art, any discipline, any skill, take it and push it as far as it will go, push it where it has never been before, push it to the wildest edge of edges, then you force it into the realm of magic."

Every time we aviators fly, we have this great, inspiring opportunity! Flight defines us as human beings. Be inspired. Harness your passion, have it become your fuel. Become a mentor, because you can't reach your full potential unless you help somebody else reach theirs. Enjoy the journey.

Sean D. Tucker has been flying air shows worldwide since the mid-'70s. In that time, he has flown more than 1,000 performances at more than 425 air shows, in front of more than 80 million fans. In the upcoming season alone, Tucker and Team Oracle will entertain nearly 10 million fans at 25 shows throughout North America. His 400 hp Oracle Challenger III weighs just over 1,200 pounds, and responds to the slightest pressure on the control stick even at 300 mph. To endure the extreme physical demands of each routine, Tucker maintains a rigorous physical-training schedule by working out over 340 days per year, with a routine of jogging and weight lifting on alternating days. Tucker has been awarded numerous aviation industry honors, including being inducted into the National Aviation Hall of Fame.


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