SC State president will fly plane over Death Valley on Saturday
ORANGEBURG, S.C. –Just a few minutes before the SC State University Bulldogs take on the Clemson University Tigers on Saturday, Sept. 17, a special event will take place above Death Valley.
SC State President James E. Clark will lead the pre-game flight in an aircraft that he built over Memorial Stadium at 11:55 a.m., to keep on schedule for the live broadcast game expected to reach millions. Kickoff is at noon.
The overflight led by Clark is believed to be the first-ever formation flight led by a university president. A licensed pilot for over 25 years, Clark, and the flight crew will fly an up to nine-ship precise formation as part of the game opening.
"Although an athletic event, this flight, led by "the Alpha Bulldog," represents one of many collaborations in which SC State is building partnerships with academic institutions, businesses, and communities. The significant amount of work done to make this flight possible – in such a short time period - demonstrates what two universities, along with the support of others, can achieve together. I am thankful for the many people who worked together to make this possible," said Clark.
To execute the flight exercise, President Clark will be joined by several of his aviation friends comprised of military and civilian pilots from multiple states, many of whom also built their plane. The pilots, whom Clark has flown with in past aviation activities, have volunteered their support to achieve this historical flyover for both universities.
The successful accomplishment of the flight signifies the new energy President Clark brings to the university and indicates the future possibilities the university will explore in the aerospace and aviation industries. Clark was re-elected in July to his second, three-year term on the Board of Directors for the Experimental Aircraft Association.
He will fly to Clemson Friday in the same plane that he will use to conduct the flight formation. The sports aircraft, an RV-6, was custom-built by Clark and a friend in Columbia in 2002.
The game will air on the ACC Network.