Clay Lacy is famous in aviation annals. He has achieved much, including flying for United Airlines, flying for the U.S. Air Force National Guard in California, starting and building a successful charter business and developing a clientele of Hollywood stars and prominent people.
Lacy earned his Private Pilot Certificate at the age of 16; he says he has loved aviation since the age of 6. Lacy started flying for United Airlines at the age of 19 in 1952, and started a private charter company, Clay Lacy Aviation, in Los Angeles in 1968, while he continued flying for United Airlines. With his charter company Lacy build a clientele of Hollywood stars and producers, which was successful enough to allow him to buy three airlines in his first year of business. His work with Hollywood included many photo flights, which are plane trips to capture images for movies; he even did scenes for the famous aviation movie “Top Gun,” as well as for “Flight of the Intruder” and “The Great Santini.”
Lacy has also set a speed record flying around the world, averaging 623 miles per hour. During that around-the-world speed record (which was a charitable fundraiser for children’s charities), he flew eastbound, so the nights were only six hours long, and the days were also only six hours. He flew through three sunsets, three sunrises, three days and three nights!
He now owns 15 airplanes. Of those eight are used for his charter business, and the rest are private aircraft. His private aircraft include a T-6, the famous P-51 and also a Pilatus Porter. The Pilatus Porter is the world’s shortest takeoff and landing airplane: it will take off with as little as 150 feet of runway.
Interested in working toward a career like the famous Clay Lacy has had? It all starts with getting your private pilot’s license, then your commercial license. You can start doing that now at Phoenix East Aviation in Daytona Beach, Florida. Whether you are a student from the U.S. or another country does not matter — Phoenix East teaches students from all over the world to fly…over 300 students each year go onto careers as professional pilots. Go to www.pea.com and request more information. A knowledgeable Admissions Officer will be able to give you all the details on learning to fly. Maybe you can then be the next Clay Lacy!