MODAERO NextGen Aviation Festival picks up more ‘mo with addition of Sean Tucker as keynote

  • Feb 22, 2016 1:24pm GMT

The inaugural MODAERO NextGen Aviation Festival, set to launch in Conroe, Texas on March 16-19, 2016 (see my 12/14/15 post), recently announced legendary aerobatic pilot and instructor, Sean D. Tucker, as its keynote speaker. Tucker’s March 16 address, sponsored by Oracle, will take place in the Lone Star Convention Center, site ofthe MODAERO career fair held that same day. The center is adjacent to the Lone Star Executive Airport (KCXO), part of the 32-acre festival grounds. With MODAERO’s focus on supporting millennials with or seeking a career in the aviation industry, Tucker will focus on the benefits of giving back and paying it forward while pursuing your life passion.

"We are thrilled and honored to have Sean D. Tucker as the keynote speaker of our inaugural event,” said Brian Columbus, founder of MODAERO. “Sean's dedication and commitment to advancing Aviation for the next generation of pilots is in unison to our mission. We look forward to hosting him and sharing his message with our audience."

The day-long career fair brings a cross-section of employers from the general, commercial and business aviation industries together with prospective employees and interviewees. Additionally, numerous academic institutions including LeTourneau University, Spartan College, and the USAF Academy will be promoting their flight schools and aviation program opportunities. Tucker’s appearance and the career fair kick off the MODAERO festival, a 4-day mix of fly-in, trade show, seminars, entertainment, networking and socializing expected to attract several thousand attendees from across North America.

The Cobalt Valkyrie, Diamond DA 62, and Pilatus PC-12 are among numerous aircraft that will be exhibited by manufacturers of everything from LSA’s to business aircraft. Several restored warbirds from Commemorative Air Force will also be displayed, with a ride in the P-51 Mustang “Pecos Bill” being raffled off. The Drone Experience will include hands-on clinics, product demos and showcase the growing sport of FPV Drone Racing

The daily trade show includes sponsors and exhibitors such as Jeppesen, Cirrus Aircraft, and Zenith Aircraft. AOPA, an inaugural anchor sponsor of MODAERO, will also be covering the event for its streaming video services, Fly-By and AOPA Live.

A diverse lineup of daily speakers includes Embry-Riddle alum Shaesta Waiz, who later this year will attempt to become the youngest female ever to attempt a solo flight around the world, and Colin Cutler of BoldMethod, Kevin Lacey of TV's “Airplane Repo”, and Emily “Miss Maverick” Carpenter, among others.

When the day ends, MODAERO keeps the festival going with live music, food trucks, a BBQ night and a craft brew gathering. Nightly outdoor live entertainment features everything from rock to hip hop to blues and, being Texas, country. This year’s headliners include national recording artists Robert DeLong, Bri Bagwell and American Fangs. Guests can also attend screenings presented by the likes of filmmaker Kim Furst, the 2015 Combs Gates Award recipient for her documentary “Flying the Feathered Edge: The Bob Hoover Project.”