Clayton Scott, 1905-2006: Longtime aviator, Bill Boeing's personal pilot
Friday, September 29, 2006
P-I AEROSPACE REPORTER
One of the Puget Sound region's best-known aviators, Clayton Scott, the former personal pilot for Bill Boeing, died Thursday. He was 101.
Last year, on the occasion of Scott's 100th birthday, Renton's Municipal Airport was renamed Clayton Scott Field.
A memorial service for Scott will be held at the Museum of Flight at 6 p.m. on Oct. 6, a museum spokeswoman said.
|P-I File (1997)|
|Clayton Scott shown at Boeing Field in front of a B-29, a bomber he flew as a test pilot during its development in World War II. He grew interested in flying after seeing a barnstormer as a child.|
Scott, who kept an office at the Renton airport, died at his Mercer Island apartment, apparently of a heart attack, according to people who knew him. His wife, Myrtle, died in October 1998, and Scott had continued to live in the apartment they shared.
In July 2005, when friends threw the birthday party for Scott at the Museum of Flight, he arrived at Boeing Field in a twin-engine Aerostar after the short flight from Renton, during which he took the controls of the plane for a while.
Scott had continued to fly until a couple of years ago.
|Clayton Scott, ca. 1942|
He was born July 15, 1905, in Coudersport, Pa., and would later recall how he saw a barnstorming flier land in his uncle's field. The family later moved to Portland.
By 1928, Scott had his own plane and was giving rides at Seattle Flying Services airfield just south of what is now the West Seattle Bridge. One day, he made an emergency landing at an uncompleted airfield being built by the county a few miles away. That would become what today is Boeing Field. Scott is in the history books for making the first landing and takeoff from Boeing Field. He left in his plane the next morning.
A chance encounter with Bill Boeing in the early 1930s would change Scott's aviation fortunes. While refueling his commuter plane at a marina in Alert Bay, B.C., Scott met Boeing, who was refueling his yacht. They became good friends, and Boeing hired Scott to be his personal pilot.
Scott was chief production test pilot for Boeing from 1940 to 1966, flying both military and commercial planes for the company.
Later, when he retired, Scott built and flew a replica B&W, the float plane considered Boeing's first aircraft. The replica hangs today in the Museum of Flight.