Charlie Kulp - Traveling incognito!
|Charlie Kulp, aka Silas “the Flying Farmer,” has demonstrated his “inability to fly” more than 800 times during his storied airshow career. In addition to performing his routine every Sunday at Virginia’s very own Flying Circus Aerodrome airshow for the past 37 years, Charlie has averaged 36 performances a year for the past 14 years, demonstrating his skillful aerobatics to thousands of adoring fans.
When asked how much he practices, he replies, “Practice? And ruin my routine?” A good sense of humor and a little yellow plane have helped this bumbling farmer create thrills and laughter for over three decades.
Born in Spotsylvania County, Virginia, Charlie was a Navy mechanic in the Pacific during World War II. He received his wings in July of 1943 after taking lessons in Roanoke, Virginia. A former mechanic for Capital Airlines, Charlie managed small airports in Maryland and Virginia before joining the Flying Circus Airshow in Bealeton, Virginia, of which he is a founding member. Here, when not on the airshow circuit, he performs every Sunday afternoon from May to October to the delight of an audience that never tires of his flying antics; donning his paint-spattered denim overalls, sneakers, porkpie hat, and his essential walking cane and long gray beard. Laymen will identify with his predicament as it unfolds; airmen will marvel at his flying ability; all will enjoy an entertaining and memorable show. The Flying Farmer’s able “steed” is a standard 65 horsepower Piper J-3 Cub, unchanged since manufactured in 1946. Thousands have learned to fly in these fabled basic trainers manufactured before and after World War II.
In 1993 Charlie took his act to Oshkosh, Wisconsin, the nation’s largest airshow, for the “EAA Gateway to Aviation Classic.” In 2000, Charlie performed at the nation’s second largest airshow, “Sun ‘n’ Fun.” As well as performing all across the United States, he has entertained at civilian and military airshows in Great Britain and Canada. Throughout his career in aviation, he has been the focus of countless newspaper articles and has been featured on the Discovery Wings Channel. In addition to his airshow work, Charlie is a member of the Board of Directors for the Virginia Aviation Historic Society and an FAA-certified flight instructor. In 2000, he received the Charles Taylor award from the FAA as a 50-year A&P mechanic.
On November 8th, 1997, Charlie “The Flying Farmer” Kulp was inducted into the Virginia Aviation Hall of Fame.
|At 82 years old, with more that 64 years of flying under his belt, this aviation legend has decided to retire from the professionl Air Show business. |
However, Charlie is not quite ready to turn in his Piper Cub for a Rocking Chair. Charlie will continue to fly as long as he is able to. So, if you happen to see a yellow Piper Cub flying along, while doing the the most impossible things .... chances are that it will be Charlie, just flying for the fun of it.