RFT 055: Airshow Legend Julie Clark

November 21, 2016

A pilot for more than 45 years and a retired Northwest Airlines Captain, Julie Clark has logged  almost 33,000 accident-free hours in the air and is rated in 66 different aircraft types. Marking her 36th year as a solo aerobatic air show pilot, Julie has earned the admiration of fans everywhere and garnered many awards and honors. In March of 2002, Julie received one of her highest honors, when she was inducted into the Women in Aviation Pioneer Hall of Fame in recognition of her significant contributions she has made to the aviation industry as a record-setter, pioneer and innovator. “Being inducted into this outstanding Hall of Fame was a great thrill for me,” said Clark. “Being honored at this level for doing something that I truly love makes this induction even more special.”


Honored annually since 2006 by Airport Journals and the Kiddie Hawk Air Academy, as one of the Top 40 “Living Legends in Aviation”, along with the likes of Bob Hoover, Gene Cernan, Morgan Freeman, Harrison Ford and Kurt Russell, to name a few. In 2006, Julie was the only woman named in the Top 10.  In 2007 Julie was named, “Woman of the Year” by Senate District 1, by the California Senate. Julie was honored for her contributions to her local community and the community of aviation.

2007 and 2008 brought about honors from the National Aeronautic Association (NAA). In 2007 Julie was honored with the Paul Tissandier Diploma, presented by the Federation Aeronautique Internationale (FAI) and NAA for service to the cause of aviation in general and sporting aviation in particular, for her work, initiative, devotion or in other ways.

Surprised and delighted, Julie was honored in 2008 by the NAA as the recipient of the Katharine and Marjorie Stinson Award. The Stinson Award recognizes a living woman for an outstanding and enduring contribution, a meritorious flight or a singular technical development in the field of aviation, aeronautics, space or related sciences.

Julie’s other equally thrilling awards include receiving the prestigious Art Scholl Memorial Showmanship award during the 30th Annual International Council of Airshows Convention, a coveted award presented each year to the air show performer who best exemplifies Art Scholl’s commitment to air shows as an entertainment venue. Clark said, “I feel extremely honored as, in my opinion, this award goes to the very best performers in the industry. The Scholl Award is the ultimate award for an air show performer and I’m very fortunate to be named in this elite group.”

In 1981, Julie was the youngest recipient of the “Woman Pilot of the Year Award,” bestowed by the Southwest Section of The Ninety-Nines, the female pilot’s association whose first president was Amelia Earhart. In 1988 and 1997, General Aviation News named her “Performer of the Year” as well as “Favorite Female Performer” for 1988, 1990, 1992 and 1997. Julie, whose dedication to aviation has led many to label her as a legend in her own time, has been recognized by the FAA, in Washington, D.C., with the meritorious Certificate of Appreciation for the following areas: Outstanding Contribution to Professional Women in Aviation, Contribution to the Preservation of Military Aircraft and Contribution to Women Pioneers in Aviation. The Certificate of Appreciation had only been presented six times when it was presented to Julie.

Julie is very proud that her fellow air show pilots selected her as recipient of the 1991 “Bill Barber Award for Showmanship.” Dave Weiman of World Airshow News presented the award and said, “Through a combination of pilot skill, imagination, personality attitude and a style all her own, Julie Clark displays the qualities of a true showman and projects a positive image of the professional air show performer.” Julie has also been inducted into the International Women’s Air & Space Museum and in 1993, for her exceptional contribution to aviation; Julie was inducted into the “Forest of Friendship” at Amelia Earhart’s residence in Atchison, Kansas.

Julie’s biography is available on Amazon and directly from her website.