AOPA recognizes veteran aviation newsman Dave Sclair with 2001 Max Karant Award for lifetime journalism excellence
Longtime aviation journalist Dave Sclair, retired publisher of the national General Aviation News newspaper, has earned AOPA's 2001 Max Karant Award for Lifetime Excellence in Aviation Coverage.
"Dave is a luminary in the world of general aviation journalism," said AOPA President Phil Boyer. "His unwavering support of GA—from long before the record-setting shipments of the late 1970s, through the quiet years when few airplanes were built, to its rebirth after product liability reform was passed in 1994—made him a clear choice for this recognition."
Sclair's flying and aviation-publishing legacy spans five decades, from the early 1960s, when he started to fly, into the new millennium with his children co-publishing a national aviation newspaper and Web site.
AOPA surprised Sclair with the unannounced honor at the opening luncheon of AOPA Expo 2001 in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. His award reads, in part, "By innovative acquisition, merging and growth, you have created an invaluable source of information and opinion for pilots and others involved in general aviation."
Sclair's journalism career began in New England and carried him through the Midwest and into the Southwest, winding up in Edmond, Oklahoma, where he started learning to fly in 1963 while owner of the Edmond Sun. He earned his certificate in 1969 and promptly combined the newfound aviation interest with publishing to start OK Flyer and Trading News.
He bought the regional Northwest Flyer, based in Tacoma, Washington, a year later and by 1972 had expanded its coverage to 11 western states and re-named it the Western Flyer. Later, he added regional coverage for Alaskan pilots and started the separate Ultralight Flyer to address that booming marketplace.
The nationally distributed General Aviation News and Flyer was born in 1990 when Sclair bought the Texas-based Green Sheet, with subscribers throughout the United States. Today, known as General Aviation News, the large-format biweekly newspaper—with its popular columnists, the trademarked pink-colored classified pages, and national advertising—is complemented by a Web site to keep readers abreast of the latest flying news.
Sclair's wife Mary Lou was his arm-in-arm co-publisher from 1970 through 2000. As they built the business, son Ben and daughter Robyn became involved at different levels. Now the children are co-publishers of General Aviation News, a publication of the family's Flyer Media, Inc., based in Lakewood, Wash.
"Dave Sclair has left an indelible mark of journalistic excellence on the general aviation industry," said Boyer. "The fruit of his hard work will harvested well into the future because he built a family business that will carry his mark for decades to come."
November 8, 2001