Julie Clark


Julie E. Clark (born June 27, 1948) is a retired American aerobatic air show aviator and commercial airline pilot. She started her commercial flying career with Golden West Airlines as a first officer and ended it in 2003 as a Northwest Airlines Airbus A320 Captain. She was one of the first female pilots to work for a major airline, and has been voted as "Performer of the Year" several times for her air show performances.[1]

Julie Clark
Julie Clark headshot.jpg
Clark in 2006
Born (1948-07-05) July 5, 1948 (age 73)
Hayward, California, United States
OccupationAirshow & commercial pilot
Years active1969–2019
Julie Clark in the T-34 "Free Spirit" at Nellis Air Force Base in 2019.


Clark has more than 50 years of flight experience, 41 years as a solo aerobatic-air show pilot as of October 19, 2019,[2] and 30,000 accident-free hours to her name[2] (34,000 hours as of October 19, 2019).[citation needed] She flew an average of 20 air shows a year in her Juice Plus-sponsored Beechcraft T-34 Mentor,[3] and is rated in more than 66 types of aircraft. She is an enshrined member of the Living Legends of Aviation.

Clark received her pilot certificate in 1969 in San Carlos, California. She performed in the same plane from 1977 until 2019, a T-34 Mentor that she bought for $18,000 in Anchorage, Alaska. She named the plane Free Spirit, which went to the Hiller Aviation Museum when she retired.[4]

While at the 2019 EAA AirVenture Oshkosh air show, Clark announced her plans to retire, with her last performance on November 7, 2019 at Nellis Air Force Base.[4]

In December 2018, she received the Sword of Excellence from the International Council of Air Shows,[4] and in 2019, the Federal Aviation Administration's Wright Brothers Master Pilot Award.[5]


Clark's father, Captain Ernest Clark, was also an airline pilot. He was murdered in 1964 by a suicidal passenger on Pacific Air Lines Flight 773. All crew and passengers were killed as a result of the passenger shooting both pilots, then himself, causing the plane to crash.[6] Her mother's death just a year earlier, and her father's subsequent death, increased her determination to fly.[7]


  1. ^ Pioneers Archived March 29, 2009, at the Wayback Machine
  2. ^ a b American Aerobatics Archived 2009-02-17 at the Wayback Machine
  3. ^ "Aviation speakers". Archived from the original on August 13, 2009. Retrieved April 22, 2009.
  4. ^ a b c "Airshow pilot Julie Clark to retire". www.aopa.org. July 25, 2019. Retrieved September 2, 2020.
  5. ^ The Wright Brothers Master Pilot Awards
  6. ^ "The Crash of Pacific Air Lines Flight #773". Check-Six.com. Retrieved May 20, 2021.
  7. ^ Rees, Brenda. "With the Kids: Highlights are her career; Julie Clark, joining the show at Edwards Air Force Base, has been pulling stunts for 20 years. Los Angeles Times, 2005. Retrieved: May 22, 2009.

External linksEdit

  • News
  • Profiles
  • Display
  • Julie Clark Airshows
  • Julie Clark website archives
  • Biography from Airport Journals
  • Video of Julie Clark performing in her T-34