Six young, promising aerobatic pilots will be center stage at the
world's largest general aviation gathering this summer, when EAA
AirVenture Oshkosh welcomes the "Stars of Tomorrow" during its
afternoon air shows, a daily part of the 51st annual fly-in July
29-August 4 at Wittman Regional Airport in Oshkosh.
The half-dozen pilots (pictured in alphabetical order), from
throughout the United States and ranging in age from 20 to 30, are
being brought together by renowned aerobatic and air show
performers Sean D. Tucker and Mike Goulian. Several of the
young fliers will showcase their talents during each day's air show
at Oshkosh, regarded as the world's finest gathering of civilian
air show performers.
"For years, the best of the best in the air show world have
flown at Oshkosh," said Tom Poberezny, AirVenture Chairman and EAA
President. "Regular performers such as Sean Tucker, Gene Soucy
and Patty Wagstaff are legends in the air show world. This
year, by seeing these new talents, spectators will get a sneak
preview of the best young aerobatic pilots who will become the next
generation of spectacular air show performers."
Tucker and Goulian searched for emerging aerobatic talent as a
way of returning the contributions and guidance of earlier air show
legends who had helped them establish their careers. The pair
looked for young pilots with exceptional flying skills, passion
toward aviation and humanity.
"My mentors in air show flying are Charlie Hillard, Leo
Loudenslager, Tom Poberezny, Bob Hoover and Jimmy Franklin," said
Tucker, who has been one of the most popular AirVenture performers
for more than a decade. "Without their help and guidance, my
career would have been half of what it is today. It's an honor to
share what these legends taught me with the 'Stars of
Tucker added that flying at EAA AirVenture is an important part
of developing of a quality, professional air show performance.
"Performing at Oshkosh changes a pilot's life," he said. "It
gives you an opportunity to showcase your passion for flight in
front of your brothers and sisters in aviation."
The six "Stars of Tomorrow" include Chandy Clanton, Lincoln
(NE); Goody Thomas, Rock Hill (SC); Wyche T. Coleman III,
Coushatta (LA); Zach Heffley, Fort Worth (TX); David
Ellison, Woodside (CA); and Nick Nilmeyer of San Martin (CA).
Each of the pilots will practice individually throughout the first
half of 2003; then they will gather for intensive training sessions
at the Hartzell Propeller facility at Piqua (OH). The group
will perform at the Selfridge Air National Guard air show near
Detroit on July 25-26, before heading to Oshkosh.
Goulian will oversee the training syllabus for the pilots,
focusing on fine-tuning their performances for the showmanship of
air show flying, as opposed to strict competition-style
"After this intensive training, EAA AirVenture audiences will
see the 'Stars of Tomorrow' begin their air show careers through an
entirely new approach," Goulian said. "Professional coaching and
mentorship is the key to their safety and success."