Retired Navy pilot to speak at Aero Club gathering April 19


Gary Vacin

A retired Navy fighter pilot who logged over 7,000 flying hours during the Vietnam conflict will be guest speaker at the Sun Lakes Aero Club gathering Monday, April 19, at the Sun Lakes Country Club Navajo Room.

The event begins with coffee and camaraderie at 6:30 p.m., followed by the presentation at 7:00 p.m. The public is invited.

During a 30-year career as a carrier-based fighter pilot, Capt. Lonny McClung made more than 1,000 carrier landings and over 250 combat missions in Vietnam. He served on both coasts and was commanding officer of four different aviation units: VF-51 (F-4 Phantoms), VF-124 (F-14 Tomcats) and Navy Fighter Weapons school (TOPGUN) – all at NAS Miramar. Later, he commanded Training Air Wing TWO at Kingsville, Texas, producing pilots to man the Navy’s carrier-based fleet tactical jet squadrons. He continues to be an active pilot with over 12,500 hours. In addition to flying corporate jets, he served as a team manager and pilot in command for the Campbell Air Race Team in the London-Sydney Air Race in 2001, which included a flight around the world in a 1954 Grumman Albatross.

McClung will be the final speaker for the Aero Club this spring. The group will continue monthly gatherings featuring speakers on a wide range of aviation-related topics in November. Additional information is available from Cannon Hill at 509-539-7857, Gary Vacin at 480-298-7017 or at the club’s website,