Airshow Great Stan Segalla 1924 - 2016

  • Mar 7, 2016 5:20am GMT

Stanley Segalla, The Flying Farmer at Old Rhinebeck Aerodrome has died at 91. He liked to fly for fun becoming one of the main attractions at Northeast Airshows.

Krysti Segalla posted, "It's with a very heavy heart that I say today the world has lost an amazing man whom I was lucky enough to call my Bepa. I've looked up to him since before I can remember. His passion for flying, his hard work ethic, and his strength I've witnessed, especially over the past year, will always stick with me. I find so much peace knowing you're reunited with Meme and that you're surely up in the sky reprising your role as the legendary Flying Farmer. Welcome home Bepa, I love you."

A WWII veteran, Stan leaves behind a large family and friends around the world. Originally from Canaan, Connecticut he was living in Venice, Florida at the time of his death. He was a star at the Old Rhinebeck Aerodrome in Rhinebeck, N.Y. where he specialized in the Flying Farmer Act thought by many to be the best. He retired in 2008 (see his last performance below)

In a statement the Old Rhinebeck Aerodrome said, "A fixture at the Aerodrome since its inception, Stanley could always be found on Sundays hamming it up in the crowd, before yet again managing to get away in the Piper Cub and wowing the spectators. His character "One-Shot Gatling" was popular throughout the airshow's early heydays, piloting the AVRO 504K in support of Sir Percy in the everlasting saga that played itself out every weekend in the skies over Rhinebeck. A pilot's pilot, Stan elevated everyone around him with his experience and skill at the controls of anything he flew. He loved to give rides before and after the shows to any takers, often putting them through a full routine in his Cub or Decathlon, always a smile on the passenger's face when he brought them back to the flight line. With a boisterous laugh and a sharp wit, Stan was always the life of any gathering or conversation. His antics within the crowd before launching each Sunday are legendary, interacting with the young and old, weaving a tale and telling jokes...all while carrying his pet "varmint" and generally creating and relishing the chaos that ensued. Stanley's passing marks the true end of an era. He is the last of the Aerodrome's original pilot cadre to go west. He signed on with Cole Palen and joined this merry band at the very beginning, helping to mold and create the museum, airshow, and total experience that we know today as the Old Rhinebeck Aerodrome. We here at ORA in 2016 look back to Stanley and that original group for inspiration and influence...always.

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Described as "a natural pilot" he has owned more than 33 single-engine airplanes, learning aerobatics from a book. Tributes have been pouring in from fans and others from within the airshow industry. "Stan was a friend and air show legend especially in the North East. Stan performed the worlds best flying farmer routine at pretty much every air show I produced for almost 20 years. Stanley passed away today. My condolences to his son Billy Segalla and the rest of the Segalla family," said producer Skip Lehman.