Duncan Aviation Presents Clay Lacy with 2004 Duncan Aviation Excellence Award
October 12, 2004
LINCOLN, NEB. — Duncan Aviation is pleased to present Clay Lacy, founder of Clay Lacy Aviation, with the 2004 Duncan Aviation Excellence Award. The presentation ceremony will be held at 1:30 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 12, at Duncan Aviation’s NBAA Booth #10212.
“I am pleased to present Clay Lacy with the 2004 Duncan Aviation Excellence Award,” says J. Robert Duncan, Chairman of Duncan Aviation. “This award is specifically designated for an individual who has made significant contributions to the business aviation industry and Clay is certainly the epitome of that description. Clay’s accomplishments as a military pilot, experimental test pilot, unlimited race champion, aviation record setter, teacher and entrepreneur have all contributed to the reputation that business jet aircraft are safe and reliable productivity tools.
“This presentation to Clay is especially personal,” he continues. “Clay and my late father, Donald Duncan, were pioneers in the industry as the original Lear Jet distributors. We both have had the great fortune of turning our passions for flight into successful businesses, and along with that, sharing the same challenges of the industry for the past 40-plus years. We have also had some fun together; we both participated in the record-setting round-the-world flight January 29-30, 1988.
“Clay is truly a remarkable individual. What many may not know is Clay is the unchallenged holder of the highest number of hours of any active pilot. I congratulate him on a lifetime of excellence.”
A native of Wichita, Kan., Lacy knew he belonged in the air when he rode above the Kansas farmlands in a Staggerwing Beech at the age of seven. He began flying at 12, gaining all the hours he could at the local airport. With 1,500 hours logged by age 19, he joined United Airlines as a copilot on the DC-3.
Lacy’s United Airlines career was interrupted in January 1954 when Lacy took military leave to attend Air Force Pilot Training. He returned to United in 1955, but still flew fighters and other aircraft with the California Air National Guard. Clay was recalled to active duty in 1961 and flew with the USAF in early support of the Vietnam War. By the time he retired from United Airlines in 1992, he had spent more than 40 years with the company, held the position of Senior United Pilot and flew the 747-400 on trans-Pacific routes.
Lacy’s love of aviation is apparent in everything he does. He has more flight hours than any other pilot in the world—somewhere around 50,000. That’s almost six non-stop YEARS in the air! He holds world flight records, has won several air races, has served as a pilot and cinematographer for hundreds of Hollywood movies, and writes regular editorials and articles for Professional Pilot magazine. He was also a personal friend of Bill Lear and Donald Duncan (founder of Duncan Aviation in 1956), working with them in the early 1960s to ensure that business aviation got off the ground.
In 1968, Lacy founded Clay Lacy Aviation, a charter and jet management company. As the first jet charter service in the West, it soon became known as “Hollywood’s Private Airline.” Today, Clay Lacy Aviation manages more than 30 aircraft and has a strong history of helping corporate operators get the most efficient use of business aircraft while maintaining safety and the highest in quality and productivity.
Established in 1998, the Duncan Aviation Excellence Award recognizes an individual for his or her significant commitment and leadership in the business aviation industry. As part of the award, $2,500 will be donated in Lacy’s name to his favorite charity.
As a recipient of the Duncan Aviation Excellence Award, Lacy joins the company of the following past recipients:
- William “Bill” Wagner
Chief Pilot of Townsend Engineering Co. and then-Chairman of the NBAA Board
- Albert Lee Ueltschi
Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of FlightSafety International, Inc.
- Peter Ginnochio
Former customer service executive with Cessna, Dassault and Canadair
- Hubert Naimer
Founder of Universal Navigation Corp. and President of Universal Avionics Systems Corp.
- Russell W. Meyer Jr.
Interim CEO of Cessna Aircraft Corp.
Duncan Aviation is an aircraft service provider with 1,800 employees supporting the aviation needs of government and business operators and other service providers. These services include airframe, engine, avionics installations, interior and paint completions/modifications, avionics/instrument and accessory/propeller repair/overhaul and parts support. Complete service facilities are located in Lincoln, Neb., and Battle Creek, Mich. Additional locations include 21 satellite avionics facilities located throughout the United States, 20 government C-23 contract locations, a line service/regional support operation in Kalamazoo, Mich., and Lincoln-based Parts Support Services, a division that sells and consigns general aviation parts to aircraft operators and service organizations worldwide.
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