August 26, 2010
AOPA ePublishing staff
FedEx Capt. Jim Tucker was flying in the right seat of a DC-10 on a cloudless spring day in 1994, when the trajectory of his life was suddenly and violently altered.
A suicidal coworker assaulted Tucker and two other crewmembers shortly after departure from Memphis International Airport, attempting to commandeer and crash the jet. “Center! Center! Emergency!” Tucker called to Memphis Center, later adding, “I’ve been wounded. We’ve had an attempted takeover onboard the airplane.” Find out from Tucker how the crew fought back and eventually landed, though seriously injured, and how he later returned to the skies as pilot in command of a Luscombe, at AOPA Aviation Summit.
In the AOPA Aviation Summit forum “Cockpit Courage” Friday, Nov. 12, at 11:30 a.m., Tucker will speak about the crew’s dramatic struggle for survival—at one point Tucker rolled the fully loaded, 500,000-pound aircraft nearly inverted to throw the attacker off balance. Tucker, Capt. David Sanders, and Flight Engineer Andy Peterson were awarded ALPA's Gold Medal for Heroism for their actions that day.
Get a chance to talk with Tucker in a more personal setting at a Thursday night dine-around dinner in downtown Long Beach. Tucker, a former U.S. Navy attack pilot, will join fellow veterans in “A Legacy of Service,” a dinner featuring military pilots such as Paco Chierici, F/A-18 pilot and movie producer of Speed & Angels; Jay Consalvi, F/A-18 pilot and Speed & Angels co-star; and Gabriel Glinski, V-22 Osprey combat pilot and U.S. Marine Corps captain. Attendees can register early for the limited-capacity event.
AOPA Aviation Summit takes place Nov. 11 through 13 in Long Beach, Calif. Register now.
Read more about Tucker’s return to flight, and watch a video that includes audio from the events that fateful day, in the AOPA Pilot online feature “‘ My Salvation.’”— AOPA ePublishing staff
AOPA Aviation Summit,
Pilot Safety and Skills
Tickets for the 2014 Red Bull Air Race World Championship series, including two U.S. races, are now on sale.
Your mission: Fly with eight F-15s to the Philippines, rejoin, refuel with air tankers, engage an unknown number of Red Air fighters, refuel again, and then return home to Okinawa. And fly with radio silence up to the first contact with the Red Air fighters.
The Aviation Safety Reporting System is a voluntary safety reporting program that allows airmen to make anonymous reports to the government about issues encountered in aviation, with anonymity allowing the airman to be candid–even when their actions may have been a violation of the regulations.
AOPA thanks our members for their continued support in protecting the freedom to fly.