October 6, 2011
By Alton K. Marsh
If you have ever seen a movie with aerial scenes, you may have seen the work of Clay Lacy. Among his many pioneering accomplishments in aviation is the development of aerial camera aircraft for the movie industry. The National Business Aviation Association will honor Lacy Oct. 11 with its Meritorious Service to Aviation Award.
Lacy has been a U.S. Air Force and airline pilot, a national air racer, and has achieved international success as a director and videographer for not only movies but also television commercials. He is based at Van Nuys Airport, a facility that is undergoing a huge facelift with special attention to a portion of the airport dedicated to small, piston-engine aircraft.
In 1964, he worked as manager of Learjet sales in 11 western states. In 1968, he established the first jet charter service west of the Mississippi River, at Van Nuys. Today, he is still owner and chief executive officer of Clay Lacy Aviation, a charter and management company.
AOPA Pilot Senior Editor Alton Marsh has been a pilot since 1970 and has an airline transport pilot certificate and instrument and multiengine flight instructor certificates, aerobatic training, and a commercial seaplane certificate.
A touch of history, affordable flying, unique sightseeing, a good meal, and a community of pilots: Isn’t that what general aviation is all about?
Getting the job done on the local and national levels requires long-term planning, a hands-on approach, and keeping the effort moving, said Sean Collins, AOPA’s Eastern regional manager.
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