Charlie Kulp, aka the "Flying Farmer" (born September 20, 1925), is a retired aerobatic pilot. He has performed a comedy aerobatic routine every Sunday at the Flying Circus Airshow in Bealeton, Virginia for the past 35 years, and has averaged 36 performances a year for the past 12 years, demonstrating his skillful aerobatic routine to thousands of airshow goers.
Born in Spotsylvania County, Virginia, Kulp was a Navy mechanic in the Pacific during World War II. He received his wings in July 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, of which he is a founding member. Here, when not on the airshow circuit, he has performed every Sunday afternoon from May to October; donning paint-spattered denim overalls, sneakers, porkpie hat, walking cane and long gray beard. Throughout his career as the Flying Farmer, Kulp has flown a standard 65 horsepower (48 kW) Piper J-3 Cub, unchanged and unmodified since it was manufactured in 1946. Thousands have learned to fly in these 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 performed 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 8, 1997, Charlie “The Flying Farmer” Kulp was inducted into the Virginia Aviation Hall of Fame. At 82 years of age, Kulp still flew his routine every Sunday at the Flying Circus Airshow. On October 28, 2007, Charlie Kulp flew his amazing aerobatic comedy routine one last time at the Flying Circus before retiring.
- Norton, Tom (January 25, 2008). "The Flying Farmer’s last show". General Aviation News. Retrieved 29 May 2010.