Stallion 51 celebrates silver anniversary

Stallion's Crazy Horse Low Pass

As Lee Lauderback taxied to the Warbird Ramp on opening day of this year’s SUN ’n FUN, a group of students immediately began pointing at his P-51 “Crazy Horse” and waving to him. He waved back with a big smile on his face. It’s a reaction he’s used to getting.

“Everybody recognizes the P-51,” he said. “It’s an amazing airplane.”

And even after 25 years of heading up Stallion 51, his company at Kissimmee Gateway Airport (ISM) in Florida that offers training and rides in the P-51, Lauderback is still that 10-year-old boy who saw Bob Hoover flying a P-51. “I thought, ‘wow, that is so cool,’” he remembered. “I am truly blessed to get to fly one every day.”

And he shares that blessing with his customers, who travel from all over the world for the chance to fly — not just ride — in a Mustang.

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Stallion 51 celebrates 25th anniversary

Photo by Paul Bowen

Stallion 51 will kick off a yearlong “Silver Jubilee” commemoration at this year’s Sun ’n Fun International Fly-in and Expo in Lakeland, Fla., March 27-April 1. Sun ’n Fun will dedicate Friday, March 30, to Stallion 51 in commemoration of its 25 years. Lee Lauderback, Stallion 51’s president and chief pilot, will perform his signature solo Mustang routine at the beginning of the night air show that will culminate Sun ’n Fun’s “Stallion 51 Day.”

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