Record Check Pilot Remembered


The U.S.’s busiest FAA flight examiner was remembered as a generous, humble man whose love of aviation knew no bounds. Services were held last week at Madison County Executive Airport near Huntsville, Alabama, for Clyde Harold Shelton, who died after a brief illness at the age of 86. He stopped flying last Nov. 30, having given a record 10,379 checkrides. He ended his love affair with all things with wings with 38,971 flight hours, 20,000 of them as an instructor. “My father had the privilege of being able to live his dream for 63 years. His dream was to fly, promote aviation and teach,” Shelton’s son, Scott, told local media.

While Shelton was famous as a pilot, his career with NASA helped launch and sustain the U.S. space program. Shelton worked with Werner Von Braun on all the rockets developed by NASA from the Redstone to the Saturn V. He retired after 38 years in 1993, ending his career in the shuttle program.