The Captain William S. Arnott Legacy Award winner for 2002
Presented to Retired United Airlines Captain Clay Lacy (right) by
Retired United Airlines Captain "Buck" Hilbert (left)


The William S. Arnott Legacy Award for 2002 was presented to United Airlines Captain Clay Lacy (retired) by Captain "Buck" Hilbert during the Board Meeting at United Airlines World Headquarters, September 12th, 2002.

The inscription states: "Captain Clay Lacy, His Actions Exemplify the Spirit of the United Airlines Historical Foundation". "Preserving the Past to Inspire the Future"

This award is the first to recognize an individual who has made a significant contribution to aviation which incorporates the vision of our founder Captain William S. Arnott. We salute Clay for his enthusiasm and willingness of sharing Bill Arnott's vision.

  Clay Lacy; United Airlines Captain, Fighter Pilot, Cinematographer, Entrepreneur, Philanthropist.

Having learned to fly as a youth in Kansas, Clay Lacy, at the age of 19, began a 40-year flight with United Airlines that took off with a DC-3 and landed with a Boeing 747-400.  When he retired in 1992, he was United's Senior Pilot.  He has accumulated over 50,000 (and counting) flight hours, believed to be more than any other pilot in the world. During that same 40 years, Lacy also found time to:

*         do a tour of duty as a fighter pilot in the U.S. Air Force.

*         set world records in air racing.

*         serve as pilot and cinematographer for hundreds of Hollywood motion pictures.

*         help launch the business jet industry.

He is the founder and president of Clay Lacy Aviation of Van Nuys, California.  When he started his business jet company in 1968, it was the first service of its kind in the West.  It proved to be highly popular with movie stars and other celebrities, and soon became known as 'Hollywood's Private Airline'.  Currently, his corporate fleet consists of more than 27 aircraft.  Lacy also has a personal fleet of several classic aircraft, including a perfectly restored DC-3 in United Airlines colors.  Last year, Lacy piloted his DC-3 from Van Nuys to Oshkosh, Wisconsin for the Experimental Aircraft Association's AirVenture 2001.  While in Oshkosh, he graciously hosted twenty United Airlines contest winners (ten active and ten retired employees) aboard his DC-3 for a fabulous flight into the past.

Although his life has had its share of excitement and glamour, perhaps his most memorable achievement was the 36-hour, 54-minute around-the-world flight in a United Airlines Boeing 747SP, Friendship One, that carried 100 celebrities and aviation notables and raised $500,000 for charity.  Lacy has also been a benefactor to United Airlines Historical Foundation and several other worthy causes.  He is truly an aviation legend and an exemplary recipient of the Foundation's first Captain William S. Arnott Legacy Award.

You can read more about Captain Lacy on the following website - - click on Company and then History.

Source and excerpts from the article, 'Conversation with a Legend' by Chris Caswell, Destinations Magazine, Fall 2002, Volume 1, Number 1.