GA industry news icon Dave Sclair dies
General aviation lost an aviation media pioneer July 26 with the death of Dave Sclair, former publisher of General Aviation News. Sclair and his wife, Mary Lou, were industry icons at aviation events nationwide since the couple purchased what was then called Northwest Flyer in 1970. The Sclair family grew the publication and changed its name to Western Flyer and then later, with the acquisition of other smaller tabloids and additional growth, renamed it General Aviation News.
For the past decade, their son Ben has served as publisher, although the senior Sclairs remained fixtures in the industry, always busy at aviation shows handing out the famous pink classified pages of the esteemed publication.
The Flyer Media Inc. parent company owned by the Sclairs and based in Lakewood, Wash., also produces the Living with Your Plane national directory of fly-in communities.
Sclair was diagnosed with a form of brain cancer earlier this year. Numerous treatment attempts failed and, at his wishes to make things easier on this family, he was moved to hospice care earlier in July.
Ben notified industry friends of his father’s death early July 27. “If you can say such an event is peaceful, this was. Mom and I were sitting with Dad, talking through old memories and reading stories from Dad's work-in-progress book, ‘A somewhat lighthearted look at the life and times of Mary Lou & Dave’. I can't begin to thank everyone for the outpouring of prayers, kind words and support, both physical and emotional.”
"Dave Sclair embodied so much of what's best about the general aviation community,” said AOPA President Craig Fuller. “He was passionate about flying, and he shared that passion with everyone he met. He will be sorely missed."
AOPA honored Sclair in 2001 for his dedication to excellence in aviation journalism with the association’s prestigious Max Karant Award.
July 27, 2011