Featuring a collection of rare photographs and previously untold stories, “Lucky Me: The Life and Flights of Veteran Aviator Clay Lacy” reveals how one of the most versatile pilots in the history of powered flight helped revolutionize the aviation industry.
From the time he was a young boy growing up in the farmland of Wichita, Kansas, during the Great Depression, veteran aviator and recent National Aviation Hall of Fame inductee Clay Lacy experienced a natural fascination with flight. He first took to the air at age 8 and at age 12 worked at a local airport in exchange for flight time. Captivated by the sense of adventure that air travel offered, Lacy embarked on a lifelong journey that propelled him from the wheat fields of the Midwest to the airfields of the world.
“Lucky Me: The Life and Flights of Veteran Aviator Clay Lacy,” a limited-edition biographical book, is the story of an aviation icon as revealed through rare photographs and the personal recollections of his friends and colleagues. Here you will find previously untold stories shared by a fraternity of aviators, from astronauts and military test pilots to world-famous inventors and Hollywood personalities.
With a foreword by astronaut and Apollo 11 commander Neil Armstrong, Lucky Me features personal recollections from hotelier Barron Hilton, physician and inventor Dr. Forrest Bird, American automotive designer and racing champion Carroll Shelby, actor and director Cliff Robertson, U.S. astronaut Capt. Gene Cernan and other prominent figures in business, aviation and film.
Lucky Me was released at this summer’s AirVenture. The book is authored by Stacy Geere and published by The Donning Company Publishers.
An airline captain, experimental test pilot, air race champion, aviation record-setter, aerial cinematographer and entrepreneur, Lacy has touched upon more aspects of aviation than any other pilot. Over the past six decades, he has flown more than 300 aircraft types, established 29 world speed records, performed over 3,000 aerial photography missions and logged more than 50,000 flight hours. Known as the “pilot’s pilot,” he has accumulated more air miles flying jet aircraft than anyone on Earth.
In 1964 while working closely with Learjet inventor William “Bill” Powell Lear during the aircraft’s early development, Lacy flew the first Learjet to be based at Van Nuys Airport in close proximity to Hollywood’s burgeoning entertainment industry to launch a new era in corporate air transportation and mobility.
After flying F-86 jet fighters for the California Air National Guard and while still a United Airlines pilot, in 1968 Lacy founded Clay Lacy Aviation (CLA) as the first jet charter company on the West Coast.
Lacy is the recipient of many distinguished awards and honors, and was inducted into the National Aviation Hall of Fame in Dayton, Ohio, this summer.