‘Every Kid Can Fly’ is Sean Tucker’s Latest Project

** Sean D. Tucker at AirVenture 2013** Jim Koepnick

Aerobatic ace Sean Tucker and his son Eric have launched a program that gives kids the opportunity to learn to fly. Associated with Hartnell College in Salinas, California, NASA and Gannett Newspapers, the "Every Kid Can Fly" initiative is aimed at giving troubled kids a chance to turn their lives in the right direction — up.

Nearby Rancho Cielo is a program established by a Salinas-area judge to give an opportunity to youth who have had trouble with the law. The program is aimed at providing them with a career path, and the Tuckers' program focuses on possible jobs in aviation. The first group of Rancho Cielo students is working through the program this month, with the aim of bringing them to the solo stage. "If they stay drug- and violence-free and if they keep up their grades," said Tucker in an interview with Gannett's TheCalifornian.com, "we will not fail them."

The flying program involves 40 hours of ground school and 20 hours of dual instruction in aircraft ranging from Cubs to Extra aerobatic trainers. Tucker says he believes the experience of soloing provides the sense of achievement that can help put kids on the right path. You can watch a video documenting 'Every Kid Can Fly' below.

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Mark Phelps is a senior editor at AVweb. He is an instrument rated private pilot and former owner of a Grumman American AA1B and a V-tail Bonanza.

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