Navy Aerobatic Air Shows
Presented by Warbird Aviation Rendezvous, Inc.
Born in Chicago and raised in Oaklawn, Illinois Clyde was introduced to flying at an early age by his father Woodrow Zellers. At the age of eleven he started flying lessons at the Chicago-Hammond Airport in Lansing, Illinois and was signed off as, "except for age, OK for solo," after seven hours of instruction. Despite his ability, he would have to wait 5 years to solo.
Gaining experience through dual instruction by many flight instructors, one of which was world renowned aircraft designer Carl Unger, who designed and built the "Breezy" experimental aircraft. Building flight time and experience over the next five years allowed Clyde to solo on his sixteenth birthday and receive his private pilot certificate on his seventeenth birthday.
Attending college, working and continuing to build flying time over the next fourteen years led to many enlightening experiences for Clyde. Some of these experiences are: towing aerial banners and gliders; flying sky-divers; purchasing his first North American SNJ-5 at the age of 23; continuing practice with aerobatics and formation flying; making many friendships in a 40 year membership with Civil Air Patrol; exposure to the airshow circuit since 1966; flying ex-military aircraft (WARBIRDS) since 1969; not ever crashing; attending the F.A.A. Academy for Air Traffic Controllers in Oklahoma City; Crop Dusting; Warbird Restoration and last but not least, marrying his lovely and understanding wife Melinda, who is very supportive of extra-aviation activities.
In 1984 Clyde was hired at Britt Airways, a regional commuter airline based in Terre Haute, Indiana. Eight months and a day after starting out in Beech-99 Airliners and Swearingen Metroliners he was promoted to the left seat as a Captain. A year later Clyde was flying various models including the much larger Fairchild FH-227 Friendship. Leaving Britt Airways in 1987 Clyde began flying for Trans-World Express, a regional commuter airline based in St. Louis.
In 1984 Clyde was hired at Britt Airways, a regional commuter airline based in Terre Haute, Indiana. Eight months and a day after starting out in Beech-99 Airliners and Swearingen Metroliners he was promoted to the left seat as a Captain. A year later Clyde was flying various models including the much larger Fairchild FH-227 Friendship. Leaving Britt Airways in 1987 Clyde began flying for Trans-World Express, another regional commuter airline based in St. Louis.
Clyde remained with Trans-World Express until 1989 when he started service with the Illinois Department of Transportation, Division of Aeronautics (which is where he is employed today). There he flies both airplanes and helicopters as an ATP rated pilot in executive transportation. As a professional, Clyde has amassed over 20,000 hours of flying time in his continuing career. He holds type ratings in eight different aircraft including the Douglas DC-3 & AD-4N Skyraider, Grumman S-2 Tracker & TBM, Lockheed PV-2 Harpoon, Fairchild FH-227 Friendship & SA-227 Metro-liner and the BeechCraft King Air 350. Clyde is a Flight Instructor with ratings to teach in Airplanes, Single & Multi-Engine, Gliders and Instrument flying. He is an Instructor in the North American T-28, is authorized to fly All Makes & Models of Single & Multi-Engine Piston Powered Aircraft and teaches formation flying and aerobatics. Clyde is a Life Member of the Commemorative Air Force and flies the Grumman TBM and North American B-25 for the Missouri Wing in St. Louis.
June of 1997 saw the purchase of his second North American SNJ-5. After an eight month restoration process he started flying aerobatic demonstrations at airshows with this aircraft.
You can contact him at:
7476 N. State Rt. 29
Springfield, Illinois 62707
Send email to Clyde