Aviation Center Scholarship
Through generous donations from Clay Lacy Aviation and Si and Betty Robin of Sensor Systems, Inc, scholarships are available to provide financial assistance to students attending the NVOC aviation mechanics school. With a global shortage of qualified aircraft mechanics, their generosity has helped hundreds of students with their registration fees, books, equipment, tools, FAA examination fees and other costs related to the program.
The goal of the Clay Lacy Scholarship is to promote student success and attract more women to the field of aviation mechanics. Currently, women make up only 2.3 percent of the nation’s approximately 286,000 certificated A&P mechanics.
Growing up in Wichita, Kansas, the “Air Capital of the World", it was destiny for Clay Lacy to have a lifetime surrounded by aircraft. By the age of 12, Lacy had logged over 1,500 hours in the air. As a pilot for United Airlines for 41 incident-free years, he flew passenger airliners from the twin-propeller DC-3 to the massive Boeing 747-400.
In 1953, Lacy joined the California Air National Guard, flying the F-86 Sabre fighter jet from the tarmac at the Van Nuys Airport. In 1964, Lacy was the first pilot to fly a business jet into Van Nuys Airport, creating a new era in private air transportation. Four years later he founded Clay Lacy Aviation, the first executive jet charter and private jet management company on the West Coast.
Clay Lacy has flown more than 300 aircraft types, logged more than 50,000 flight hours, and accumulated more miles flying jet aircraft than anyone on Earth. He holds 29 world aviation speed records, and is a member of the National Aviation Hall of Fame.
Si and Betty Robin
Seymour “Si” Robin moved to California in 1948 to start a small electronics shop. He found work with the Douglas Aircraft Company fixing antennas and other military items, but struggled for years as an electronics engineer. He ended up working for Sensor Systems, a small company based in Chatsworth that was just getting into the antenna business. There he met his current wife, Betty. By 1970, the Robins had taken over the business and secured a contract to supply the military with specialized high-power antennae.
Today, Si Robin holds over 80 patents on items that he has invented for the antenna business. The Robin's company, Sensor Systems Inc. employs over 300 people and provides antennas for commercial, business, and military airborne applications for aircraft from Cessnas to the Airbus A380.
For his lifelong accomplishments and contributions to the flying community, Si Robin was inducted into the California Aviation Hall of Fame in 2016.