Carmel Magazine

CM SP19 Web, 5-19

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Tucker takes a Bob Hoover Academy student for a spin in his Team Oracle performance aircraft. The Academy endeavors to help youth break the cycle of gang culture and to live meaningful, satisfying and productive lives. "We took off from Watsonville in this open-cockpit plane," says Pershall. "I'm wearing a leather helmet and goggles. I had the time of my life. That solidified our friendship." "I started flying in 1969," Tucker says. "It helped me conquer my fears. You must be confident to fly—especially for the kind of flying I do. I have a high level of self-esteem because of my flying." That awareness of self-esteem and the desire to help others achieve it is what drove the cre- ation of his benevolent venture: The Bob Hoover Academy. Tucker and Pershall are no strangers to the con- cept of giving back to their communities. Most recent- ly, the latter stepped down from seven years as presi- dent of the Carmel Valley Angel Project, an organiza- tion that serves Thanks- giving dinner to Valley resi- dents who don't have the means to enjoy a bountiful holiday. As the pilot for Team Oracle, Tucker has flown nearly 2,000 performances at more than 525 airshows around the globe for millions of fans. "For years, I've been donating aerobatic rides as auction items to non- profits around the country that have raised more than $500,000 to date." He is also Chairman of the Experimental Aircraft Association's Young Eagles® program, an organization that gives 8- to17-year-old kids their first free ride in an airplane in order to inspire a love of aviation. The late Bob Hoover (1922-2016) was a giant among giants, a flyer's flyer, a pioneering aviator whose reputation is among the pantheon of greats that includes Charles Lindbergh, Chuck Yeager, Neil Armstrong, Jacqueline Cochran, Yuri Gagarin…even Or ville Wright—all of whom he knew personally. Another friend was Sean D. Tucker. "Just before he passed, we asked Bob if we could name our nonprofit after The Bob Hoover Academy is funded by donations. The Air Show Network recently presented this $12,000 check. 184 C A R M E L M A G A Z I N E • S P R I N G / S U M M E R 2 0 1 9 Photos: Stacey Wilson

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