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People: Meet Elias CoreyPeople: Meet Elias Corey

Aerobatic pilot with an Italian flair

One of the newest airshow performers is Elias Corey. A former motocross, jet ski, and AMA pro road racer turned aerobatic pilot, Corey brings a high-energy act to the sky with an Italian flair—he has dual citizenship and his partner and wife, Tamara, is an Italian sommelier. The couple divides their lives between Arizona and Italy.
Pilot Briefing August 2020
Photography by Don Youngker

“When I retired from motorcycle road racing, I was looking for the next adventure. My father is a pilot and I had seen the movie Cloud Dancer with him as a kid. I took an aerobatic lesson from Michael Church at Sunrise Aviation. I was hooked. Within three months, I purchased a Pitts S–1S and enrolled in full-time aerobatic and private pilot lessons side by side. It took 10 months to get my license and solo the Pitts,” said Corey.

Recently he has teamed with Triumph Motorcycles and the company is sponsoring his performances in an Extra 330 SC. “It’s the ultimate unlimited aerobatic speed weapon. With the Lycoming Thunderbolt engine and 205 MT propeller combination on mine, it’s unbelievably capable,” he said. “I continue to learn from it and count myself extremely lucky to strap into it several times a week.”

Corey loves performing: “There are two things I love equally: competition and airshows. Competition pushes you to the limits of precision flight through training, judging, and a peer group of incredible aviators. Airshows because they allow me to share my love of precision flight with aviation enthusiasts throughout the United States.”

Corey’s airshow routines are eight minutes of “fast-paced, blood-pumping aerobatics,” he says. “We take the plane over 250 mph and through 10 Gs for force positive and minus 7 Gs of force negative. From violent multiple snap rolls to gyroscopic tumbling maneuvers, we take the Extra 330 SC to the edge of the envelope for aerobatics flight.”

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Julie Walker

Julie Summers Walker

AOPA Senior Features Editor
AOPA Senior Features Editor Julie Summers Walker joined AOPA in 1998. She is a student pilot still working toward her solo.

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