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Gene Littlefield, Longtime Air Show Star, Passes Away

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A unique view captured from Gene Littlefield’s Stearman at Oshkosh in the mid-1980s, as Cheryl Littlefield wing-walked while inverted over the runway. EAA photo by Jim Koepnick

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Gene Littlefield and his wife, Cheryl, at Oshkosh in 1994. EAA photo by Bob Miller

October 5, 2011 – Gene Littlefield, who flew a wing-walking act with his wife for nearly 20 years at Oshkosh and was also a stalwart for air show performer safety, died on Saturday, October 1, at his home in Wilmington, Illinois. He was 81.

Littlefield (EAA 61641) was an EAA and IAC member since 1975. He was best known for the Gene Littlefield Air Shows performances in his Stearman 450 biplane, which included wing-walking by his wife, Cheryl. He began flying in the air shows at Oshkosh in the early 1980s and continued impressing air show fans at the EAA fly-in through the mid-1990s.

Littlefield was also one of the first pilots to fly Young Eagles, recording his first EAA Young Eagles flight on July 31, 1992 - the same day as the program’s debut at Oshkosh.

At the time of his death, Littlefield was still active by teaching aviation science at Lewis University in Romeoville, Illinois.

Memorial services for Gene Littlefield will be held at 1 p.m. on Saturday, October 15, at the Aurora Municipal Airport in Sugar Grove, Illinois. In lieu of flowers, Gene’s family is requesting donations to the Joliet (Illinois) Area Community Hospice.  Donations in Gene’s memory can also be made to the EAA Young Eagles, a program that was important to him.

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