The sky's the limit for former WRTV journalist Clyde Lee

Posted at 5:26 AM, Jul 28, 2022
and last updated 2022-08-01 14:42:46-04

INDIANAPOLIS — Clyde Lee worked as a journalist with WRTV for a quarter of a century. During that time, Lee became known for his reports on health and medicine, but one area of interest many viewers might not have known about was Lee’s passion for aviation.

"As far back as I can remember, I was fascinated with flying," Lee said. "I always wanted to do that for a living. I wanted the military to teach me how to fly."

But it was Lee's father who told him his dream would never get off the ground.

"I got a big wrench thrown in my way, which my dad told me I was going to have, but I didn't want to believe him. I'm colorblind."

Eventually, Lee pursued a career in journalism and touched town at WRTV in 1976. He also went on to earn his pilot's license, making weekend trips to Muncie for breakfast with his daughter.

1983: Clyde Lee takes to the skies

While Lee's dream of flying with the military stalled out and never took off, he was able to tell the stories of many navigators in central Indiana.

"Even though I couldn't fly for the military, it gave me a great sense to be a part of America's flying history," Lee said. "The guys who fly military, I just respect them so much."

One of Lee's best memories is a story he did on the Blue Angels. While in the air, the pilot asked Lee if he was a pilot.

"He [the pilot] says, 'You got it,'" Lee recalled. "He says, 'You fly the plane.' He said you can do anything you want."

Anything even included barrel rolls.

Lee's flight lasted about 20 minutes before touching back down.

"Once we came back into our spot where we took off, the canopy went up, and I just started crying because I should have been doing that," Lee said. "It makes me cry now because it was such an incredible thing that I got to do."

1983: Clyde Lee soars with the Blue Angels

But for Lee, he wouldn't change a thing.

"If I knew then what I know now, I probably would have regretted not being in the news business; because of the people you work with number one," Lee said. "The stories you get to do, the access you have, we all have, you know that other people don't have. It's a fantastic thing."