Lee Lauderback Hits 10,000 Hours in the P-51 Mustang

The founder of Stallion 51 achieves major milestone at Sun ‘n Fun.

P-51 Mustang Crazy Horse
Crazy Horse is a famed two-seat P-51 Mustang used for training at Lee Lauderback's Stallion 51.Pia Bergqvist

Stallion 51, a flight training facility in Kissimmee, Florida that specializes in warbird training, celebrated a very special milestone yesterday for its founder and chief pilot Lee Lauderback at Sun 'n Fun in Lakeland, Florida. The stellar pilot reached the 10,000-hour mark in the P-51 Mustang, having flown a total of more than 22,000 hours in various types of aircraft.

Though he is too young to have served as a P-51 pilot in the U.S. Air Force, Lauderback likely has more time in the historic airplane than any other pilot. He has been flying at Sun 'n Fun for more than 30 years and is being inducted into the Florida Aviation Hall of Fame at this year's event.

Lauderback was one of the first civilian pilots for the USAF Heritage Flight program. He is a member of the Society of Experimental Test Pilots, and has been recognized with the FAA’s Wright Brothers Master Pilot Award Program for 50-plus years of safe flight operations, with the 2017 ICAS Sword of Excellence Award and as an inductee in EAA’s Warbirds of America Hall of Fame.

Lauderback founded Stallion 51 in 1987 after working as Arnold Palmer’s chief pilot for many years. The company provides various training programs in the P-51 Mustang, the T-6 Texan and the Aero Vodochody L-39, including upset recovery training.