Sean Tucker Bails Out Of 'Oracle Challenger'
ANN REALTIME Update: 04.04.06, 1932 EDT: ANN talked to Karl Koeppen of Sean's Contrails Group, this evening, who confirmed much of the details we got in bits and pieces... and summarized the days' events.
"Tucker parachuted from his aerobatic biplane on Tuesday, April 4, 2006 at 10:45am CDT over the I Hope Plantation farm south of Coushatta, LA. Tucker's biplane suffered a mechanical failure in the elevator control linkage during a practice flight in the aerobatic box at the Coushatta airport.
Following the mechanical failure, Tucker was able to climb the aircraft safely to an altitude of 8,000' using a backup elevator trim handle located in the cockpit. During this time Tucker was in radio contact with his crew on the ground and a suitable location was found to conduct a safe bailout that would minimize any chance of personal or property damage on the ground.
Tucker bailed out and landed safely. The biplane impacted near the center of I Hope Plantation, approximately one mile from the nearest road which had been closed to vehicle traffic as a further precaution."
ANN will be talking to Sean in the next day or two and expects to offer both a written as well as audio update on this amazing story. One thing we thought amusing , though, in addition to the disappointment of losing the airplane, Sean is apparently unhappy with the fact that he "didn't 'stick' the landing..."
Hey Sean... any landing you can walk away from...
ANN REALTIME Update: 04.04.06, 1532 EDT: It appears that the control malfunction that downed Sean Tucker's beloved biplane was a broken control linkage. According to a number of reports, a linkage attached to Sean's control stick broke shortly after takeoff from the Red River Regional Airport and required some fancy flying to keep it in the air, and to nurse it to a safe altitude and area while he attempted to diagnose the problem and the chances for a safe landing.
Upon determining that a safe landing was not possible (and let's face it, if anyone could have, Sean is the guy), Sean maneuvered over unpopulated territory and exited the aircraft., Despite getting hung up temporarily on the tail, Sean freed himself and managed a controlled deployment and safe landing using a Para-Phernalia emergency parachute.
Initial Report, 04.04.06, 1251 EDT: Details are somewhat sketchy for the moment, but ANN has confirmed that Aerobatic Pilot Sean D. Tucker had to bail out of his 'Oracle Challenger' biplane today.
The aircraft was being used in a practice session when a control malfunction occurred requiring some 15 minutes of trouble-shooting before Sean was forced to leave the aircraft at a reported 8000 feet.
The aircraft went down over Coushatta, some 40 nm South of Shreveport, Louisiana and impacted in an open field after Sean deliberately chose an area likely to produce no hazards to anyone. The accident occurred at 1045 local time, the aircraft is pretty much destroyed, and most important of all -- Sean landed with no injuries.
While Sean was scheduled to perform in Lakeland this weekend, there is no word on the future status of his airshow schedule.
ANN will have more info when it becomes available.