Lauderback has been the chief flight instructor for Stallion 51 since he founded the flight operation three decades ago. In that time he has amassed over 21,000 flight hours in all types of aircraft, including over 9,000 hours in the P-51 Mustang.
As an FAA Experimental Aircraft Examiner, he is often called upon to flight test various vintage planes, helicopters and turbojets before they are accepted.
Over the years, Lauderback expanded his aviation experience to include flying the F-15 Eagle, F-16 Viper, F/A-18 Hornet and the Hawker Beechcraft T-6 Texan II. He has also instructed students at the Navy Test Pilot School in Patuxent River, Maryland.
According to Society of Experimental Test Pilots Fellow Rich Lee, “SETP is a very exclusive organization. Lee had made a well-received presentation to the SETP Flight Test Safety Workshop on May 5, 2016. Those who attended have said it was perhaps the best they had ever seen. “
Even though Lauderback knew many of the SETP fellows, as an applicant he was required to submit a very detailed application, meet qualification and experience requirements, as well as be recommended by at least three members of SETP in good standing.
Two of the SETP members who recommended Lauderback this summer were aviation legend, R.A. “Bob” Hoover, who just passed away in October, as well as astronaut and Reno Air Race winner, Robert “Hoot” Gibson.
“When Lee attended the annual symposium as a new member in September, he knew and had flown with more members, associate fellows, and fellows of the society than any new member I have ever known,” Rich Lee said. “He was enthusiastically received at the symposium.”
The Society of Experimental Test Pilots is an international organization that seeks to promote air safety and contributes to aeronautical advancement by promoting sound aeronautical design and development; exchanging ideas, thoughts and suggestions of the members; assisting in the professional development of experimental pilots; and providing scholarships and aid to members and the families of deceased members.
SETP’s mission is to prevent accidents and loss of life by improving safety, design and to provide a forum to disseminate information to those in the aerospace industry for the benefit of all aviation users.