As long as there has been a Stallion 51, the company’s officials have attended Lakeland, Florida’s SUN ‘n FUN, bringing its stable of Mustangs to the Warbird Flight line, as well as Lee Lauderback flying his signature solo Mustang demo routine in the air shows.
At this year’s show, Stallion 51 will be bringing a “few of their Mustang friends” to the air show and Warbird Flight line to help celebrate and commemorate the occasion.
In 1987, Stallion 51 was established as an aviation business that specializes in rare expensive vintage aircraft built on the dream and passion of the Lauderback brothers. Lee, Peter, Richard and John are the cornerstone of the Mustang world, restoring, operating and marketing the aircraft.
Thousands of people have shared the cockpit with founder and president Lee Lauderback and his crew through the years, learning about the magic of the Merlin and the mystique behind the Mustang.
Stallion 51 not only offers the opportunity to experience the Mustang in an orientation flight, but also understand the Mustang through its comprehensive Mustang check out program.
Through the years, Stallion 51 has developed a large presence on the Kissimmee Gateway Airport (KISM) with its three hangars, encompassing the flight operations for its two dual cockpit, dual control P-51 Mustangs and T-6 Texan, as well as the UAT program, a division of Stallion 51 that offers upset prevention and recovery training (UPRT) in a specially equipped L-39 Turbojet.
All orientation flights in both the P-51 and T-6 include pre-flight briefing that tailors the orientation flight to the individual’s experience, expertise and expectations; preflight walk around and cockpit orientation; hands-on orientation flight that encourages the individual to do 95% of the flying, followed by a post-flight briefing reviewing the three-camera video that captures all of the action during the flight. Also included is a certificate of completion, autographed photo of the aircraft flown and log book entry.
The P-51 Mustang Front Seat Transition Training is another hands-on opportunity for pilots to take the controls of the Mustang from both the fully operational rear cockpit before transitioning to the front cockpit. Ground school prepares the pilot for the air work that will be executed during the instructional flight that includes aerobatics, touch and go landings, and basic fight maneuvers.
The second day of flying will be from the front cockpit that includes another thorough briefing and orientation of cockpit lay-out and procedures, including procedures exclusive to the front cockpit including engine start, taxi, takeoff, normal and emergency procedures.
For every hour of flying there is approximately three hours of ground school to give the pilot a depth of understanding on what the Mustang is capable of.
The Mustang Check Out Training program is typically a five-day course consisting of two flights a day plus ground school. The training program is a specialized course designed for the owner/pilot or potential owner/pilot of a P-51 Mustang or similar high performance warbird aircraft.
Check out training familiarizes the pilot with aircraft systems, normal and emergency procedures, basic flight maneuvers, slow flight, high performance maneuvering, loss of controlled flight, stalls, and an emphasis on takeoff and landing proficiency.
Pilots should have a minimum of 200 hours T-6 and/or tailwheel time before starting the check-out training course.
Stallion 51 also offers P-51 Mustang and T-6 Texan recurrent training. The courses can be tailored to individual requirements, but are typically structured around a one or two-day course consisting of ground school and flying covering aircraft systems, emergency and normal procedures, slow flight and high-AOA maneuvering, stalls, both clean and configured, simulated engine out flight and landing, review of aerobatics, basic pre and post-flight inspections.
The UAT program offers advanced upset prevention and recovery training in a specially modified L-39 TurboJet. The UAT program’s purpose is to familiarize pilots with the recognition and recovery from unusual attitudes and in-flight upsets. The program is structured to train pilots to recognize and respond accurately and quickly in both VFR and IFR situations before the situation progresses into one from which they are unable to recover. This type of aerodynamic training combined with aero-medical training has not been available to civilian pilots in corporate and business aviation departments until recently.
Also available is AVDOC 51, where pilots can fly in to get their medical.
Senior AME Dr. William Busch believes the ability to fly in this day and age is dependent on desire, training, skill, financial and physical ability. These are all replenishable resources except one, physical ability or health.
“Without good health and the ability to pass an FAA medical exam all the dough, desire and skill in the world will not get keep you in the cockpit,” he says.
Busch is an integral part of the team at Stallion 51 as an instructor pilot and teaches the aero-medical aspects of unusual attitude training in the UAT program.
John Lauderback assists the transition-training clients further by helping them to find the perfect vintage plane. Through Stallion’s many warbird connections, John helps connect those who want to find a good home for their Mustang with the perfect new owner who is looking for a P-51 through Group51.