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Thu, Oct 27, 2011

All's Well That Lands Well: Brian Norris Deadsticks Sean Tucker Airshow Bipe

"Professional" Piloting of Tucker's Bipe Goes Well Despite Forced Landing

It's been a tough year for all things 'airshow' so it sure is nice to report one incident that went rather well. ANN has learned that  Sean D. Tucker's airshow biplane, executed a forced landing Tuesday when a sudden engine stoppage turned the normally thrusty bipe (the 'Oracle Challenger III') into an immediate glider. Flying home at the end of a long and very successful season, Sean Tucker tells ANN that Ferry Pilot and Team Member Brian Norris did what he expected, "he flew the aircraft like a professional, dealt with the situation as it occurred and put together a great outcome by staying ahead of the airplane."

Norris, on the final leg home after a recent fuel stop, landed on a stretch of highway near Bakersfield, CA, and encountered no significant damage in the process (minor scraping of the bottom of the lower wing-tips) and what should have been a scenic one-hour trip home will now, instead, be a three-hour trip home behind a truck. No reasons for the engine stoppage are known at this point and the matter will be fully investigated when the bird gets home. Norris was being escorted home by fellow team-mate, Ben Freelove, who flew cover for Brian as he executed the landing, watching from the Oracle Extra 300L. And once again, let us repeat... no biplanes or biplane pilots were unduly harmed in the execution of this forced landing... which is a great outcome for the airshow biz in light of the way this past year has gone.

 

Sean's bipe was about to head into its annual tear-down and rebuild cycle, so there is no significant impact to his airshow schedule and Tucker told ANN that the timing of all this is (somewhat) welcome news after "one of the best years" he's had, personally, in his decades as one of the world's premier airshowmen. And despite that lofty title, Tucker made it clear to us that the reason for the great outcome yesterday had "nothing to do with me and everything to do with Brian Norris... and because of Brian's professionalism, the whole thing was a non-event."

Sean promises to fill us in a bit more when he has more info...

FMI: www.poweraerobatics.com

 


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