CHICAGO—The adrenaline is still pumping as I write this.
This has to be one of the best perks of my job, getting to go 4,000 feet in the air and experience what pilots see during the Chicago Air and Water Show. This year, the show booked me a flight with Oracle Extra pilot Sean D. Tucker. He's considered by many to be the best aerobatic pilot in the world, one of the few civilians who has flown in tight formation with both the Blue Angels and the Thunderbirds.
In other words, this guy has guts - and he loves his job.
We spoke about his life as a pilot. He was once afraid of flying, some lessons helped ease his fears. Thirty years plus of flying later, he's performed in thousands of airshows. The guy is fearless in the cockpit - spinning, flipping, twisting, and turning. He can hit up to 9 G's in his custom built plane, the same felt in a fighter jet.
The ride was incredible. Any anxiety I had was washed away as soon as we hit the air. We hit 5.5+ G's, as well as a few negative. We did some rolls, loops, front flips, and something I think he called a hammer head. When my head started spinning, he calmed things down so I could regroup. And let me tell you, you've never seen Gary, Indiana until you've flown over it while you're inverted.
He'll be doing even crazier stunts this weekend. Check him out at the Chicago Air and Water Show on Saturday and Sunday at North Avenue Beach. If you're looking for more Tucker, check out the stunt team's website - TeamOracle.com.
Video coming on the WGN Evening News at 5pm. Posted here after.