Clayton L. “Scotty” Scott passed away Sept. 28 in Mercer Island, Wash. He was 101.
Scott began his aviation career in 1926 by persuading airmail pilots to give him flight instruction. By 1928 he had an airplane of his own and was giving rides at an airport in the Seattle area. An in-flight emergency made Scott the first pilot to land at King County International Airport/Boeing Field, which was still under construction at the time.
In 1932, during a fuel stop in British Columbia, Scott met Bill Boeing and offered him a sightseeing flight. Boeing hired Scott as a pilot for Boeing’s airline, United Air Transport, which would eventually become United Air Lines.
From 1933 to 1934 Scott flew the Portland to Salt Lake route. Scott later became Boeing’s personal pilot and eventually became the Boeing Co.’s chief test pilot.
Among the aircraft he flew were the DB-7, A-20, B-29, B-50, B-47, B-52, C-97, 707, 727 and the B-17. Scott held the distinction of having test flown more than 1,000 Flying Fortresses before they were shipped off to service.
Scott retired from Boeing in 1966 and started his own business, which manufactured floats for aircraft. At one time he owned the type certificates for the Howard 15 series. He operated his business at Renton Municipal Airport (RNT) near Seattle.
In 2005, on his 100th birthday, the airport was renamed Clayton L. Scott Field in his honor. On his 101st birthday a bronze statue of his likeness was erected at the airport.