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Posted on Sat, Jun 15, 2013 : 2 p.m.

Thunder Over Michigan Air Show adds top aerobatic performer to 2013 lineup

By Katrease Stafford


The "world’s top civilian aerobatic pilot" Sean D. Tucker will perform at the 2013 Thunder Over Michigan Air Show Aug. 10 and 11.

Courtesy photo

The "world's top civilian" aerobatic pilot, Sean D. Tucker, is the latest performer to be added to the upcoming Thunder Over Michigan Air Show at the Willow Run Airport in Ypsilanti Township.

According to airshow officials, Tucker is a member of the National Aviation Hall of Fame and is internationally known for his aerobatic flying routine. Tucker has received several awards, including induction into the International Council of Air Shows Hall of Fame and the Living Legend Aviation Award.


Thunder Over Michigan Air Show will be Aug. 10 and 11.

Tucker has done more than 1,100 performances in the span of his 40-year career in front of 100 million fans.

Tucker’s airplane, the Oracle Challenger III bi-plane, weighs just more than 1,200 pounds and has more than 400 horsepower.

The airshow, slated for Aug. 10 and 11, is expected to announce more lineup additions in the next several weeks.

"We have just begun releasing what is going to be a very thrilling, unprecedented air show lineup," said Kevin Walsh, air show director. "We are known as one of the top air shows in the U.S. for a reason, and that is because we always have something new and unusual for our fans to enjoy. I think our fans are going to be especially excited about some of the things we will be announcing in the next several weeks."

The show was originally scheduled to take place June 15 and 16 to accommodate the scheduling of the United States Air Force Thunderbirds. However, the Thunderbirds' entire 2013 season, was grounded due to the federal budget sequestration.

Show organizers decided to move the show back to its usual August date.

"Early August is what our fans have come to expect for Thunder and we are pleased that we can now move back to our normal dates," Walsh said. "The August dates allow us to secure additional world-class performers, statics, and displays. The weather is historically much better than in June and there is less conflict with other events then."

Tickets are now on sale for a discounted price if purchased online through Sunday, Aug.11 at noon. General admission tickets for guests 16 and older are now $30 and kids 15 and under are admitted at no charge.

Previous estimates show that between 40,000 and 45,000 people attend the annual show over the course of Saturday and Sunday.

Katrease Stafford covers Ypsilanti for her at or 734-623-2548 and follow her on twitter.



Sun, Jun 16, 2013 : 5:53 p.m.

jns131 - Both aerial demo teams are grounded for the year. Maybe next year...we'll have to wait and see. Both teams budgets are a miniscule part of the total DoD budget. Obama's upcoming trip to Africa will cost, according to some, around $100 million. That amount would fund both the Blue Angels and the Thunderbirds demonstration teams for two years.


Sun, Jun 16, 2013 : 1:26 p.m.

Yup, another nobama snafu we can attribute to him. Will miss the angels. O well. Can't wait to see the thunderbirds.

Top Cat

Sun, Jun 16, 2013 : 12:15 p.m.

Also on the schedule is the only flying Me 262, the German 2 engine jet fighter from WW2. It will participate in the morning land battle.

Tom Teague

Sun, Jun 16, 2013 : 6:37 p.m.

I have read that, after the war, US Army personnel inventorying Germany's weapons came across several ME 262s and didn't have any frame of reference for them. Instead, they noted that German propellor production must have been affected by the Allied bombing campaign because they found several planes that had not had their props installed yet. Fortunately there weren't more of the "Sparrows" to harass @Tru2Blu76's father and other Allied air crews.


Sun, Jun 16, 2013 : 11:47 a.m.

Brian - The Blues normally came to Willow Run every other year. This was an off year, so the TBirds were scheduled before the sequestration that grounded both teams took effect. After sequestration is lifted the schedule is not known...please stand by. In the meantime, Thunder is playing out to be a great show.


Sun, Jun 16, 2013 : 2:28 a.m.

They were going to schedule the Thunderbirds? The Blue Angels have always performed at the Air show. Why schedule the Thunderbirds when both have been grounded. I'm confused.


Sun, Jun 16, 2013 : 1:27 p.m.

The Thunderbirds are not part of the nobama plan of sequestration. It is the angels. These other guys do what they want to a point.


Sun, Jun 16, 2013 : 2:18 a.m.

A ride in a World War II B-17 ought to be on everyone's bucket list. The Yankee Air Museum also has a program to save a part of the Willow Run Bomber Plant. Check it out


Sun, Jun 16, 2013 : 1:31 a.m.

Last year's ride in the Yankee Lady (B-17G) was fabulous. Once in a lifetime maybe - but my dad was a tail gunner on a B-17 during WW II. The ride allowed me to better appreciate his stories about "going to work" in those bombers. Can't say enough about air shows - the Yankee Air Museum guys are all great and put on a worthwhile show every year. I'm getting my ticket right away.

Tom Teague

Sun, Jun 16, 2013 : 6:41 p.m.

@Tru2Blu76 - your story choked me up. That must have been very moving for you to spend a little vicarious time in dad's shoes.


Sat, Jun 15, 2013 : 11:52 p.m.

Got tickets for me and my buddy already. We have a great time every year. Great time for families too. Just disappointed about the Thunderbirds though, stupid budget battle.


Sat, Jun 15, 2013 : 7:50 p.m.

Get discounted tickets by going to Very good show, best in North America. Yankee's B-17, world's best restored Flying Fortress will also be available for rides.