The NextGen


For over forty years I’ve heard people say that general aviation is graying out. I see the point, but there’s nothing like seeing the energy and enthusiasm of the young people of AirVenture to restore one’s faith in the future.

Big displays by various collegiate aviation programs recruiting high school-aged kids have been prominent for years, but recent additions have been the major airline sponsored facilities recruiting the college age kids for their future needs.

Southwest Airlines brought in a brand new Boeing 737 MAX and it’s livery proudly displayed the airline’s “Destination 225°” pathway program. (Think compass Rose.) In over four decades of watching this industry, I have never seen the future opportunities so bright or investment return so quick. Obviously not every experimental builder comes from the airlines not does every airline pilot want to own or build an airplane, but the two demographics do overlap significantly.

I am personally grateful that my dream vocation provided the means for my dream avocation and express such on the side of my airplane. Seeing the enthusiasm of the young people of Oshkosh makes me believe that the airline, military, general aviation and experimental worlds will be well-populated and stewarded for generations to come.

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Myron Nelson
Myron Nelson soloed at 16 and has been a professional pilot for over 30 years, having flown for Lake Powell Air, SkyWest Airlines, and Southwest Airlines. He also flies for the Flying Samaritans, a volunteer, not-for-profit organization that provides medical and dental care in Baja California, Mexico. A first-time builder, Myron currently flies N24EV, his beautiful RV-10. He has also owned a C-150 and a Socata TB-9.


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