Video: Clay Lacy On Learjet’s Legacy

As the final Learjet nears delivery to its customer, Business & Commercial Aviation caught up with Clay Lacy, affectionately known as “Mr. Learjet” to some, to talk about Learjet’s legacy. Lacy was in Wichita recently, where he was hosted by Bombardier to see the final Learjet, a Learjet 75, before it is delivered.

Lacy, who began flying at age 12, is founder and former CEO of Clay Lacy Aviation in Van Nuys, California. A Wichita native, Lacy is a retired United airline captain and former military aviator, experimental test pilot, air race champion, holder of 29 world records, an aerial cinematographer and an entrepreneur. He quit counting flying hours after logging more than 50,000, a world record.

In the early 1960s, Lacy became close friends with Learjet inventor Bill Lear, who appointed him as manager of sales for 11 Western states and Learjet distributor in California. In 1968, Lacy leased a Learjet and started the first executive jet charter service west of the Mississippi. He bought the first Learjet for Clay Lacy Aviation in 1970 and quickly became known as running “Hollywood’s private airline.”

Molly McMillin

Molly McMillin, a 25-year aviation journalist, is managing editor of business aviation for the Aviation Week Network and editor-in-chief of The Weekly of Business Aviation, an Aviation Week market intelligence report.