A local surgeon, called a “legend” for his work in the medical field, got the ride of his life Thursday a few thousand feet in the air.
Legendary civilian aviator Sean D. Tucker took Jonathon Saxe, a surgeon at Miami Valley Hospital, on the aerobatic flight from the Dayton International Airport as part of a Team Oracle program that recognizes “local legends” at air shows across the U.S.
“I got to share this opportunity with someone who sacrifices and gives back to the community and to the world,” Tucker said. “I got to share the magic that I have in my life — my piece of the sky — with him and he wanted to be there.”
Tucker will perform in the Vectren Dayton Air Show this weekend in the Oracle Challenger III aircraft, which weighs 1,200 pounds and produces 400 horsepower.
Saxe, who is certified in general surgery and surgical critical care, was honored by the aircraft team for his dedication to training medical residents and his work abroad at hospitals in underdeveloped countries.
“It means a tremendous amount to have an opportunity like that,” Saxe said. “This is the place for flight. To even be here is humbling to say the least.”
Saxe was joined by his wife, mother, daughter and granddaughter while he prepared for his flight.
“When he first came home and told us about the flight, we said what a privilege this experience is,” said Vivian Saxe, mother of Jonathon Saxe. “I think he’s always wanted to fly. We never expected him to go with such a famous man though.”
The flight lasted 20 to 40 minutes and Team Oracle members prepped Saxe before the aerobatic ride.
“It was superb. We went up and first followed the other plane and flew in formation,” Saxe said. “We did a couple of loops where you roll the plane and then he let me fly, which was an incredible experience.”
Saxe said the flight gave him a tremendous appreciation for Tucker’s aviation talent, and is inspired to try flying.
Tucker practices 350 days annually, flying up to three times each day, said Nick Thomas, Team Oracle member.
“It’s great to continue to participate in the Dayton Air Show without the military presence,” Thomas said. “It’s terrific Dayton is still sponsoring the air show and supporting the industry.””
How To Go:
What: Vectren Dayton Air Show
Where: Dayton International Airport, 3800 Wright Drive. From Interstate 70, exit at Airport Access Road (Exit 32) and follow the signs. From Interstate 75, exit at Northwoods Boulevard (Exit 64) and follow the signs. On-site parking is available. Specially designated parking areas exist for motor homes, recreational vehicles, campers and motorcycles. These motorists will be routed off North Dixie Drive near Skyview Drive and Vandalia Fire Station No. 1 in the parking area. The Greater Dayton RTA will have express buses operating during the two-day event from 8 a.m. until 6 p.m. Shuttle runs from the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force and the University of Dayton Arena Parking lot A. The shuttle service is $3 round trip. Children ages 5 and younger ride free.
When: June 22 and June 23. Gates open at 9 a.m. and close at 6 p.m. both days
Get more details on the show, video and more at DaytonDailyNews.com/airshow