Warbirds 20 Under 40 – Meet the 2019 Honorees

"Warbirds 20 Under 40" Award Ceremony was held on Saturday July, 27 at EAA AirVenture. Twelve of the winners were able to attend.

Back in April, we published a story about the National Warbird Operators Conference (NWOC) initiating a program designed to bring younger generations into the realm of vintage military aviation, both as aviators and as maintainers. Labeled ’20 Under 40′ the effort highlights young men and women who have been getting involved in the warbird community in significant ways…

That last article back in April encouraged the warbird community to nominate individuals under 40 who they felt were making the grade, and now we can report the 2019 honorees for all to see… the 20 Under 40 Rising Stars of the Warbird World! Congratulations to all who took part … you are all making a difference!


Matthew D. Bongers: EAA Volunteer, A&P Mechanic and Pilot

Nomination Quote: “‘Can Do’ is imprinted on many of his clothes in grease and mud. Making it happen and making it work go hand in hand with Matt’s smile and friendly personality. His motto is (or should be) “How can I help?”. Matt has been a Warbird volunteer for 15 years. He takes charge, does while others watch, is a very good manager/mentor/instructor with others.”

More About Matt:
I have gotten the privilege to be involved in many great aircraft and owners since I found my love in Warbirds. My first two opportunities were to help with a carburettor/engine change on Devil Dog a B-25 and helping with getting a T-28 put back together after it had an engine fire. From 2012-2018 I was with the Mid America Flight Museum; it was there that I was blessed with many great opportunities. I have worked on DC-3s, an HU-16, B-25, A-26, L-18, F4U, P-51, Wildcat, Grumman Duck, T-6, T-28s and so many more. I am a Commercial Multi pilot with tail wheel, high performance and complex endorsements. “I love Warbirds because of the great stories that come with these aircraft, the stories of great men and women rising up to fight for a cause.” – Matthew Bongers

Jason Capra: President & Founder Vintage Wings Inc.



Nomination Quote: “Jason has logged numerous hours in DC-3s, PBY Catalina, C-54, T-6, and J-3 and has over 12,000 hours of total flight time. After finding an abandoned C-53 in Ohio, he risked his entire life savings and founded Vintage Wings Inc to purchase and save the WWII vet to give her another chance. His enthusiasm and passion are contagious and have helped the organization grow to save this DC-3, and he is already thinking about the next warbird project that his organization will tackle.”

More about Jason:
With a love of airplanes that stems back to the age of 5, there wasn’t a day in Jason’s life where he wasn’t thinking about airplanes. Unlike other aviation buffs at a young age, Jason wasn’t all that interested in fast, loud and thundering jets. His attention was always toward the gallant warbirds and aircraft of the 1940s. With his first job being at the Washington County Airport in Pennsylvania at the age of 15, Jason’s drive and dream to one day own a vintage airplane had begun. Working throughout High School, Jason obtained all of his ratings except for his ATP by the age of 19. At the age of 35, Jason has logged over 12,000 hours of flight time, received his ATP, and is a captain for Republic Airways. Jason’s heart however has always been with warbirds. Having been a member of his mentor’s group, “The Berlin Airlift Historical Foundation,” Jason was exposed to the Douglas C-54 at the age of 15. Falling more and more in love with these classic aircraft, the future and his fate were sealed. To date, Jason has flown the C-54, C-47, C-53, PBY-5 Catalina, AT-6 Texan, and the legendary Piper L-4. Deciding finally that it was time to branch out on his own, Jason founded and started Vintage Wings Inc. on February 5th, 2016 after discovering their C-53. “I’m honored to be the current caretaker of our C-53. When I found her abandoned in that field in Ohio, it was almost like its soul was crying out, ‘Someone please help me!’ She’s been through a lot and she deserved better than to rot away. I’m giving it everything I have to make sure her and her crews stories aren’t forgotten. It’s the least I can do to say thank you to all of them.” -Jason Capra

Shane Clayton: Canadian Harvard Aircraft Association Volunteer – Oversees All Aircraft Maintenance and Restoration Activities at CHAA

Nomination Quote: “I’ve worked beside Shane at Canadian Harvard Aircraft Association (CHAA) for almost 3 years. In that time, he has shown a pattern of excellence and attention to detail required in keeping the aircraft entrusted to our care operating safely and efficiently. He exemplifies the spirit of Volunteerism, spending long hours in productive labor in the hangars.”

More About Shane:
A Railway Conductor/Locomotive Engineer from Woodstock, Ontario got hooked on warbirds at the age of 15 after going on a flight with the Canadian Harvard Aircraft Association (CHAA). After finishing school, he has spent most of his free time volunteering with CHAA, holding such positions as Museum & Archives Committee Chairman, Service Crew Chief, Chief Technical Officer, and has served for over 10 years on the Board of Directors. Through the CTechO position, he oversees all the aircraft maintenance and restoration activities at CHAA, and also assists other Harvard and Yale operators around the globe with technical issues and historical research. Shane also has an NA-64 Yale project, and recently became half owner of an airworthy Yale. “I got started in warbirds at the age of 15 after going on a Harvard formation flight. I suppose you could say I caught ‘yellow fever’ that day, as from then on I’ve spent a ton of time and energy trying to keep these living, breathing pieces of Canadian Aviation History in the air where they belong.”- Shane Clayton

Nick Crofoot: Warbird A&P and AI, Pilot

Nomination Quote: “What impresses me most about Nick is his passion for aviation and constant desire to learn all things aviation, particularly the warbirds. A&P & AI cert. holder & licensed pilot. He flys his C170 and is working his way into the PT-17 & AT-6.”

More About Nick:
My aviation career started in 2010 just after I was married when I started to get my A&P at Lansing community college in Michigan. Did I mention I married into an aviation family? While going to school for two years I got my pilot’s license in Alma Michigan with the support of my family. After school I worked in Kalamazoo Michigan on Jets. After a few years I had decided to move on and was able to start working with my father-in-law Albert Schiffer at Al’s Aerial Spraying in Ovid Michigan. While working there I was able to get my inspection authorization and work on various types of aircraft. From small Cessna’s, Piper’s, Air Tractors, Stearmans, T-6’s and Corsair. Throughout the years I have been able to grow and learn more about all these different types of aircraft. Programs out there towards warbirds such as NATA put on. I was able to go to their first ground School last fall and learned a lot about the T-6’s, T-28 and Navion. I hope that more of these programs form for young inspiring mechanics- pilots so that they can gain the knowledge and wisdom from the older generation to keep these aircraft flying and to keep the history of alive. “Nothing like the feeling you get when those engines are coming to life.” -Nick Crofoot

Amelia Hilsen: Warbird Pilot and Air Show Exhibitor

Nomination Quote: “It seems that wherever Amelia goes, she draws a crowd—and boy, does Amelia love speaking to a crowd! Ad hoc or pre-arranged, she draws them in close and keeps them mesmerized with storytelling, history, and the fantasy of future flight.”

More About Amelia:
I grew up in a family of professional pilots and knew from the beginning I wanted to fly. I spent my childhood fantasizing about tearing through the sky in all the old 1950’s pressed iron airplane toys I had stolen from my dad. While working towards becoming an airline pilot I made a foray into the world of warbirds by flying a Stearman, then soon after a T-6 with a goal of someday flying a fighter or bomber. I hope to show other young aviators that warbirds are something anyone with a passion can fly, and that these airplanes and this community needs the next generation to help keep their history alive. “Being bestowed the privilege of flying these living pieces of history is the highest honor I can imagine – to pay it forward I promise to introduce these incredible aircraft to generations to come.” -Amelia Hilsen

Eric Nielsen: Flying Heritage & Combat Armor Museum, Warbird Technician

Nomination Quote: “I am very encouraged to know Eric Nielsen as a young, sharp enthusiastic mechanic who is the next generation and will be able to pass on the skills to keep our heritage alive for the generation after himself.”

More About Eric:
Going to A&P school with intentions of being a warbird mechanic was a unique path and I could tell it would be a hard road. “This is a radial engine; you will never work on one of these,” was a standard response from my instructors. But in August of 2012 I found my entrance into the warbird community with the Ezell family. Since then I have worked on over 30 types of warbirds, crewed at Reno and had some truly once-in-a-lifetime moments including my current position at FHCAM. Special thanks to my wife, my family and my warbird family. “At my first warbird job interview I had this quote directed at me (by Nelson Ezell) and I will never forget it…If you’ve got the desire and the aptitude, we can fix the rest.” – Eric Nielsen

David Oliver: Commemorative Air Force COO, Warbird Bomber Pilot

Nomination Quote: “David began volunteering in 2009 with the Commemorative Air Force in the Dallas area. He earned his SIC rating in the B-29 and quickly moved up to captain at age 29. The CAF hired David full time in 2011. He has held the positions of Ops Officer, VP- Operations and was recently promoted to Chief Operating Officer, the second highest full-time position in the organization. He holds type ratings in the B-29, B-24 and B-17 and has amassed over 350 hours in the left seat of the B-29.”

More About David:
David Oliver completed his first solo on his 16th birthday and was immediately in love with aviation. Ratings held include an ATP, CFI, MEI, A&P, IA, and multiple warbird type ratings. Accomplishments also include the IAC National Collegiate Aerobatic Championship in 2006. After a deployment to Iraq and Afghanistan in 2008 as a contract pilot, David returned to the US and volunteered to fly for the Commemorative Air Force. David has now flown over 25 different warbirds including the B-17, B-24, and B-29 Superfortress FIFI. David’s current role at the CAF is Chief Operating Officer for the organization. “Warbirds are so important for the future of education. They are the tools we use to honor the past generation and inspire a new generation.” -David Oliver

Ryan Parente: Warbird Technician, B-25 Captain and Warbird Pilot

Nomination Quote: “I have known Ryan for about 20 years. He’s an outstanding pilot, mechanic, and a young man of the highest integrity. His love for Warbirds is evident.”

More About Ryan:
I am 38 years young and reside in New Jersey with my beautiful wife Melissa, and our wonderful kids Ryan and Katherine. I got my start in aviation at the age of 18 as a maintenance technician at my local airport where we maintained and repaired WW2 aircraft. When I was 22 years old, I found myself in the right seat of a B-25 Mitchell traveling the airshow circuit gaining flight experience. I am now fortunate enough to Captain the B-25 and have also made my transition from the T-6 Texan to the P-51 Mustang. “For me, Warbirds are a time machine. As a fan of history, I believe it is important to learn from the past in order to shape our future as individuals and collectively as a nation. Although the sights, sounds, and smells of these aircraft can bring our senses back in time, it takes a human being to be able to share the stories of the amazing men and women who did the impossible to protect our freedoms.” – Ryan Parente

Shawn Patrick: Warbird A&P Mechanic, Pilot

Nomination Quote: “Shawn is actively engaged in Warbird maintenance through his employer, Heritage Aero. He started as an apprentice and has continued to excel to gain his A&P and is well versed in T-34, AT-6, Navion, T-28, T-33 and F-86 aircraft, in addition to various general aviation aircraft. Specializes in avionics and electrical.”

More About Shawn:
Graduated from the University of Dubuque in Dubuque, IA in 2017 with a Bachelor of Science in Flight Operations and a minor in aviation management. Along with my degree, I achieved my commercial, multi-engine, and instrument rating/certificates. I recently got my A&P on experience through working for Cliff Wilewski at Heritage Aero, in Freeport, IL. I have worked on everything from Beechcraft Bonanzas to Piper Comanche’s to T-28s and F-86s. I am currently working on my CFI and plan of getting my IA when I have the required experience. “When it comes to warbirds, my passion for them goes beyond just being able to work on them as well as fly them. They are not just a piece of expensive metal; they are a living piece of true American history. For as long as I am around, I want to make sure they keep flying.”- Shawn Patrick

Michael Porter: President & Founder Porter Restorations, Warbird Pilot, Collings Foundation Volunteer

Nomination Quote: “Mike has a fun easy demeanor, a very positive “can do” attitude and an efficient working pace while maintaining a high level of workmanship. Willing to travel, Mike has worked on many warbirds including 20 Stearman restorations and P-51, F4U, Spitfire and P-40 maintenance and is a repository of knowledge as the Stearman Restorers Association (SRA) Historian). Mike’s warbird interest, broad knowledge, network of experts and personal smarts has made him a quick study when learning new Warbirds.”

More About Michael:
Mike is the Founder and President of Porter Restorations, which specializes in the maintenance and restorations of the Boeing Stearman bi-plane. He has restored over 20 of these famous aircraft which were well known in the barnstorming world and an aircraft, the PT-17 Kaydet, which trained thousands of WWII aviators. Mike lives in East Liverpool, OH and has 22 years flying experience. Mike grew up in aviation and started flying with his father, Andy, at a very young age in New Jersey. In 1996, he soloed his first aircraft at the age of 16, obtained his license at 17, and has always loved working on planes. He earned a single and multi-engine Commercial Pilot license early on. He is a CFII, MEI, A&P with Inspection Authorization, and a Parachute Rigger. With over 8,000 hours of flight time, Mike’s passion is WWII aircraft. He is rated in the massive Grumman TBM Avenger and he has been volunteering with the Colling Foundation of Stowe, MA since 2015. Mike flies the legendary North American P-51D Mustang, giving unforgettable flight instruction and once in a lifetime experiences. He also serves as co-pilot on the B-17 Flying Fortress. When he is not giving training in the P-51 or working at his business, he can be found traveling the country supporting or training his many clients who own civilian or military variants of the Stearman. “The biggest thing we need to do is honor and keep this history alive for the future.” – Michael Porter

David Reed: Erickson Aircraft Collection A&P/Pilot, Reno Voodoo Crew Member, Golden Wrench Award Winner

Nomination Quote: “I have known Dave since he started at the Erickson Aircraft Collection in 2015. I have had the privilege of flying a Me 109 that Dave supervised the restoration of, Dave and the crew did a superb job in this complex restoration which also included the retrofit of an Allison engine. Dave has a hand in the maintenance of all 28 aircraft that we fly at the museum and is the most educated, knowledgeable people I know at the age of 31! I personally did his checkouts in the Stearman, AT-6, Wildcat.”

More About David:
From a young age I have always had a love for aviation and warbirds. Growing up in Hollister California I was able to be around seven P-51’s, an F-86, and two T-6’s. Spending most of my time at the airport has afforded me to be a part of a team that restored the L-39 “Phoenix” which won the Golden Wrench award at Oshkosh in 2012. I have also had the privilege of being on the P-51 “Voodoo” crew in Reno for several years and am currently an A&P/Pilot for the Erickson Aircraft Collection in Madras Oregon. “Warbirds are a way of life or lifestyle that we live and breathe every day.”-David Reed

Marco Rusconi: Canadian Military and Warbird Flight Instructor, Airshow Performer

 

Nomination Quote: “Marco is an unbelievable dynamo in the warbird community. He flew 4 years with the Snowbirds, and then continued flying airshows with the “Canadian Harvards”. The passion that Marco brings when he is sharing the L39, T6, and Mustang is very, very special, you can’t help but want to be a part of anything Marco is involved with. Marco has chosen Warbirds as his life. He truly lives and breathes it. I feel blessed to have him in my life, our connection was Warbirds, now we are family.”

More About Marco:
Marco grew up in Italy and his passion for vintage and warbird airplanes developed at an early age. He served as a RCAF pilot/officer for 14 years, first as a military flight instructor and standards officer on the Harvard II at 2CFFTS (“The Big 2”) in Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan and later as an aerial demonstration pilot for 431 (AD) Squadron (The Snowbirds). Returning to his roots, Marco acquired a 1952 Mk IV Harvard, retired from the Canadian Forces and joined the Canadian Harvard Aerobatic Team, where he served as the #4 pilot (Slot) for the 2014-2018 seasons. In 2017 Marco joined Stallion 51’s team in Kissimmee, FL where he currently instructs on the T6, the TF51 and the L39. “Somehow I’ve found myself driven my entire life to want be a caretaker for these unique airplanes, in the hope that their operation can continue safely, and their rich and intricate stories can continue to be shared with others.”
– Marco Rusconi

Justin Spence: Third Generation Pilot and Mechanic, Owner Ultimate Aircraft Services Inc.

Nomination Quote: “A positive driven person with his own maintenance business that was opened and very successful before Justin was even 25 years old. He has maintained a Sea Fury, T-6’s, Birddogs and various other warbirds. Justin has and is dedicating his life to the preservation of not only warbirds but vintage and experimental aircraft.”

More About Justin:
I am third generation as a Pilot and Mechanic. I grew up at the airport helping my Dad and Grandfather on different aircraft projects. From that I gained a lot of knowledge from a young age and continue to learn every day. I obtained my A&P in 2015 and my IA in 2018. I opened Ultimate Aircraft Services in Memphis, TN, March of 2016 as a restoration rebuild and maintenance facility. We specialize in Warbird, Vintage and Experimental aircraft. My goal is to continue to grow in the Aviation community and to Keep ’em Flying. “Warbirds are a dream and passion of mine, something I never thought I would have had the opportunity to be involved in, let alone restoring and flying on a daily basis with my company geared towards them.” -Justin Spence

Taylor Stevenson: Oshkosh Award Winner Warbird Restorer, Museum Pilot, TORA! TORA! TORA! Air Show Routine

Nomination Quote: “Taylor is incredibly thankful to the warbird community for the opportunities it provides those with interest and enthusiasm and humbly recognizes that he is among the last who will vividly remember meeting the men and women of the Greatest Generation. Taylor considers it his responsibility to ensure that the history of their service and sacrifice endures.”

More About Taylor:
Taylor’s passion for warbird aviation began at an early age, flying to air shows with his father, Gordon, in the backseat of their family T-6 Texan. Eager to fly, Taylor soloed a Piper Cub on his 16th birthday, restored an Oshkosh award winning L-5 Sentinel at 19, and soon began flying the T-6. Today, Taylor flies the P-51 Mustang, P-63 Kingcobra, and P-40 Warhawk and is a pilot for multiple museums and the TORA! TORA! TORA! airshow routine. Taylor lives in Dallas, Texas with his supportive wife, CJ, and golden retriever, Cheeseburger, and is an engineer-turned-attorney for a major oil company. “My generation will be the last who will vividly remember meeting the men and women of the Greatest Generation who ensured that freedom prevailed over tyranny in humanity’s time of need, countlessly making the ultimate sacrifice. The warbirds we restore, fly, and maintain serve as living tributes to those brave men and women. I consider it our duty to ensure that the future generations understand and experience the history that these aircraft represent through the sight, sound, and smell of their operation.” -Taylor Stevenson

Joel Swager: Warbird Restorer, Reno Air Racer – Unlimited Gold Champion

Nomination Quote: “Whether it be at the Reno Air Races, Chino Air Show, or any other warbird gathering, you can always find Joel lending a helping hand. One would most certainly say he is not only an inspiration to the next generation, but also a reminder and homage to his previous generation of the hard work it takes to get to where you want to be.”

More About Joel:
I started with warbirds as a volunteer at Planes of Fame Air Museum in Chino when I was 12. This led to a job at Fighter Rebuilders for 12 years doing warbird restoration work. While in Chino I had the privilege of flying some of the warbirds including the L-5, Stearman, T-6, and P-51. My wife Shannon and I moved to Ione, CA to work in the family business at Sanders Aeronautics in 2013. At Sanders Aeronautics I am active in warbird restoration, air racing, and flying other warbirds including the Sea Fury, Corsair, and TBM. “When flying warbirds, if you don’t need sunglasses, you don’t need to fly.” – Joel Swager

Samuel Walsh: Pilot, AirCorps Restoration Tech, Parts Sales Coordinator, Restoration parts Coordinator, Volunteer Civil Air Patrol and EAA Young Eagles

Nomination Quote: “Sam joined our team in the spring of 2014 with a passion for aviation and vintage aircraft. He took a risk moving from his home State of California to northern Minnesota just for the opportunity to be involved with Warbird Aircraft. Sam started as a helper doing anything he was asked of (a lot of which was not fun) without a complaint and moved himself into the position of Restoration Parts Coordinator. His current position is critical to the success of our team and the aircraft we restore.”

More About Samuel:
Samuel joined the AirCorps Aviation team in 2014. Since then, he has been a restoration technician, parts sales coordinator, and currently restoration parts coordinator. A native of California he relocated to Minnesota to pursue the Warbird dream. Sam has a Bachelor of Science Degree in Business Marketing Management and Industrial Technology from Cal Poly in San Luis Obispo. He is also a commercial single and multi-engine pilot and is the president of the Bemidji Flying Club. Sam is very active in the Civil Air Patrol and EAA Young Eagles program. “When I first became interested in Warbirds it was because they were awesome high-performance airplanes at the pinnacle of development in their day. As I started hearing more stories, meeting veterans and reading biographies, it impressed on me the amazing opportunity we have, to not only preserve these awesome machines, but also the incredible history they represent. The Texas Flying Legends had a statement – Sacrifice above Self. I think that mindset encapsulates what we are trying to represent with these airplanes.” – Samuel Walsh

Tim Wiebe: CAF, American Flight Museum & Collings Foundation Volunteer Pilot, Aviation Insurance Agent & SNJ Flight Instructor

Nomination Quote: “Tim enthusiasm for flying is contagious. Not only is he active in the EAA, he started a warbird business. Most weekend when he is not fly the big iron, he can be found sharing the joy of our passion by instructing or giving rides in an SNJ. In the past year he has created 3 new warbird pilots.”

More About Tim:
Tim is a third generation pilot that graduated from Kansas State University’s professional pilot program. He has been doing aviation insurance for the last 15 years and flys for the airlines which affords him the ability to get away to fly warbirds as often as possible. Tim hopes that one of his daughters will carry on the family’s aviation heritage by getting their pilots license. “I have always loved Warbirds, I never could have imagined as a kid the opportunities that I would have to fly some of the most incredible aircraft in the world. I hope to continue to fly warbirds as long as possible to be able to pass on the history to the generations to come.” – Tim Wiebe

Ben Wilson: Cavanaugh Flight Museum Volunteer, Aerobatic & Warbird Pilot

Nomination Quote: “Countless times I have run across people in our community who want elaborate about Ben – his enthusiasm, his talent, and willingness to dive right in to help in any situation. Ben is truly one of the best out of any age range in this industry.”

More About Ben:
Ben became involved with Warbirds over 9 years ago as a volunteer at the Cavanaugh Flight Museum. Starting out cleaning airplanes and helping at airshows, Ben soon became a ride pilot in the PT-17 Stearman. After a T-6 checkout, Ben began doing aerobatic rides, as well as attending NATA formation clinics, where he earned his wingman card. Ben now flies over a dozen museum aircraft and holds PIC ratings in the T-28, C-47, and DHC-4 Caribou. He has given hundreds of warbird rides to museum customers and enjoys displaying and sharing these amazing aircraft at airshows across the country. “When it comes to Warbirds, I am still excited just to be allowed behind the ropes, let alone take a part of preserving and exhibiting this amazing part of our living history. I can only hope to pass these amazing experiences on to others, the way that so many have passed on to me.” – Ben Wilson

Scott Yoak: Air Show Pilot, ATP/CFI/A&P/IA

Nomination Quote: “Scott’s enthusiasm for warbirds and keeping them flying is unrivaled. He has been flying them since the age of 17 and flying fighters since 20. His passion for the industry has led him to start a program in Augusta GA that gets high school and junior high kids involved hands on with the many warbirds that pass through his maintenance facility. Scott performs at 25+ airshows a year in his P-51 “Quick Silver” reaching millions of spectators through his flying and strong social media presence.”

More About Scott:
Scott started working in his dad’s Warbird maintenance facility from a very early age. Being engaged and around these magnificent aircraft lead him to pursue a career maintaining and restoring them. At the age of 20 he was checked out in the P-51 Mustang and started flying airshows soon after that. Today he flies his P-51 “Quick Silver” in over 25 airshows a year nationwide. Scott is a Board member of EAA Warbirds, a NATA T-6/Fighter Formation check airman, and an aerobatic competency evaluator for ICAS. “I got my start in Warbirds due to my father’s passion for keeping them alive. We owe it to the next generation to keep these aircraft in the air, for they are the heartbeat of history.” – Scott Yoak

Matt Younkin: Third Generation Pilot, ’43 Beech C-18 Air Show Performer

Nomination Quote: “Matt is a natural pilot and loves to fly and shares his passion with everyone that will listen. He comes off pretty shy but once you get him talking about aviation you will be there for hours.”

More About Matt:
Matt is a third generation pilot, and a renowned air show professional, demonstrating the capabilities of a 1943 Beech C-18. Matt learned to fly at the age of 14 in a Piper J-3 Cub and on his sixteenth birthday, soloed his grandfather’s 1928 Travel Air 4000 biplane. Matt has been passionate about warbirds, and the history they helped shape, since he was a small child. Both of his great uncles were WW2 Naval Aviators and growing up listening to their stories and traveling to airshows with his father Bobby, cemented Matt’s love for these incredible aircraft. “It’s a privilege to make a living around these aircraft I have admired all my life, and it’s even more incredible that I have gotten to fly some of them. This opportunity that has been bestowed upon me only forwards a childhood dream coming true for me, and I am humbled by the honor.” – Matt Younkin

The “Warbirds 20 Under 40” Awards Ceremony took place on Saturday, July 27th at the Eagles Hangar during EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2019 – 12 of the winners were able to attend.

Due to the generosity of the program’s sponsors, all winners will receive a special opportunity: A Warbird introduction flight and an option for some one-on-one maintenance training on a variety of Warbird Aircraft.

A SPECIAL THANK YOU TO THE SPONSORS:
Courtesy Aircraft Sales
Dakota Territory Air Museum
Frasca
Experimental Aircraft Association
Historic Flight Foundation
Rezich and Rezich Aviation
Warbird Adventures

For those interested in nominating an individual for their contributions in the Warbird Industry for next year’s 20 Under 40, please visit the NWOC website and select the ’20 Under 40′ tab to fill out the nomination form.

WD NEW_AFF

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