After a storied career preserving, flying, and caring for one of the world’s most iconic aircraft, the P-51 Mustang, Stallion 51, Boss Lee (Mr. Mustang) Lauderback has been selected as the 2019 recipient of the Bob Hoover Award of Aviation Excellence.
The Award is intended to shine a spotlight on those who are doing outstanding work to advance and magnify aviation’s future. Careful consideration was undertaken by the Board of Directors of the Bob Hoover Legacy Foundation (BHLF), the organization entrusted to carry on Bob’s mission by Mr. Hoover prior to his passing in 2016. Lee was selected from an impressive roster of candidates.
Lauderback’s outstanding record as an aviator, flying aviation historian, and airshow demonstration pilot, accruing the stunning total of over 10,000 hours in the legendary P-51 Mustang, were just a few of the factors that made him such a compelling nominee and, ultimately, the selectee for this year’s honor. “One of the things we most enjoy with the Bob Hoover Legacy Foundation is the chance to recognize and reward outstanding citizens of the aviation world, and in this case, a great friend of Bob’s, with the honors that they so greatly deserve,” noted BHLF President Tracy Forrest.
The Bob Hoover Legacy Foundation announced its first-ever Bob Hoover Award of Aviation Excellence last year, which was awarded to the volunteers and pilots who have flown more than 2 million EAA Young Eagles in 90 countries since the program’s launch in 1992.
The criteria for the award simply states: “The Bob Hoover Award of Aviation Excellence will be given annually by the Bob Hoover Legacy Foundation to an individual, organization, company, program, educational institution, or government entity that has advanced and improved the future of American aviation in a manner or manners consistent with the standards of technical excellence, safety, determination and generosity of spirit that defined Robert Anderson ‘Bob’ Hoover.”
BHLF Chairman Michael Herman added his hearty approval, “Lee’s career has been incredible… truly worthy of an award inspired by one of aviation’s greatest heroes and statesmen.”
The Award was initially announced during a press conference on behalf of the work of the BHLF, on the opening day of EAA AirVenture 2019. Due to Lee’s intensely busy schedule, he was unable to accept the award, in person, until the Foundation’s Executive Director could meet up with him at the recently concluded AOPA Regional Fly-In, in Tullahoma TN, where Lauderback was performing in Crazy Horse.
Note: The Bob Hoover Legacy Foundation is a 501c3 organization conceived and inspired by R.A. Bob Hoover, in 2016 to perpetuate Bob’s life-long dedication to aviation learning and safety, and to inspire those qualities in ensuing generations of American aviators.