(1931-2017) Enshrined November 13, 2010
Clyde Shelton lived his entire life in Fayetteville, Tennessee and dedicated most of his life to general aviation. He was born in Taft, Tennessee on March 7, 1931. Clyde delivered newspapers to support his family until graduating from Fayetteville Central High School in 1949. He worked for Kraft Food Company until joining the US Air Force where he was trained as a Crew Chief for T-33 and F-86 aircraft. During his service Clyde developed an insatiable interest in aviation and vowed to one day buy his own aircraft. Following his honorable discharge in 1955 Clyde finished his B.S Degree in Business Administration at Indiana Tech. Clyde soloed in 1956 and began earning his piloting credentials at Wilkes Field in Fayetteville where he did buy that aircraft and began flight instructing both at Fayetteville and at Huntsville, Alabama in 1963. Mr. Shelton, still actively flying, has given well over 20,000 hours of flight instruction. He has graduated over 1,000 students and as an FAA Flight Examiner since 1987, has given more than 8,800 check-rides. His personal logbook documents more than 36,400 hours of flight time with ratings as an ATP , SMEL, CFI, CFII, MELI, and CE 500 Type. Clyde Shelton has actually had two careers. A charter member of The National Aeronautics & Space Administration and the Marshall Space Center. He and his colleagues made aerospace history during our nation’s space race. He was there from the beginning working with Dr. Werner Von Braun on all of the launch vehicles from the Redstone rocket, to the Saturn Five moon rocket. Finishing after 38 years with the Shuttle program in 1993. The patriarch of three generations of pilots, Clyde instructed and soloed his wife Sara in 1966; his son Scott, now a Boeing 767 Captain for Delta Airlines, on his 16th birthday and Grandson, Nevada, currently a cadet at the United States Military Academy at West Point, on his 16th birthday as well. Clyde Shelton’s legacy is firmly established in those whose lives he has touched. He is a genuine aviation professional. A man whose integrity, character, good-nature and sincere interest in his students define him as a man of competent humility.
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