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April 25, 2024
By Liann Zimmer

Aviators NEXT: Austin Reenders

Community | Future-Forward

Austin Reenders - AEA 2023-24 Universal Avionics Scholarship Winner

Welcome to Aviators NEXT, a look at the next generation of pilots and aviation professionals who have received scholarships or sponsorships with Universal Avionics. Austin Reenders is a student at Fox Valley Technical College in Oshkosh, Wisconsin. In one year, he will be a certified aviation mechanic with A&P Ratings. Austin plans to attend one additional year to receive an associate degree in aircraft electronics. After graduation, he plans to find employment at a small shop repairing aircraft.

Austin was awarded the Aircraft Electronics Association (AEA) Educational Foundation – Universal Avionics Scholarship for the 2023-24 academic year, sharing his progress and story.


Bring us up to date with your progress at Fox Valley Tech?

I am currently finishing my second of the four semesters of the A&P (Airframe & Powerplant Mechanics) program at Fox Valley Tech in Oshkosh. I have been learning about electricity, flight instruments, ground handling, FAA regulations and so much more. I am really looking forward to next year, when I will get to rebuild a Continental O-200 engine.

Fox Valley Technical College - Riverside CampusFox Valley Technical College Riverside Campus in Oshkosh


How did the scholarship come about? Did you apply or were you picked?

I applied for the scholarship through the Aircraft Electronics Association.


What attracted you to aviation as a career?

I have always loved working with my hands, and I think that aircraft are pretty amazing machines.


Tell us about your dream job?

My dream job would be to work at a general aviation shop.

View of a Continental O-200-A four-cylinder engine installed in a Cessna 150H.
(YSSYguy at English WikipediaCC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons)


What are your life ambitions beyond career (family? travel?)

I would like to travel to Alaska to go fishing and off-roading.


What do you enjoy doing in your free time?

In my free time, I enjoy repairing cars, fishing, and disc golf.

Austin Reenders, Scholarship winner

Austin enjoys the great outdoors and working with his hands, a perfect combination for an aspiring aviation mechanic


What's the most interesting place you've traveled to?

My favorite place I have traveled to is the Rocky Mountains. My family and I used to live in Wyoming, and we would camp in the mountains often.

What’s on your Spotify playlist?

I mostly listen to older rock music.


What’s your favorite aircraft?

My favorite aircraft is the DC-3.

Archive Photos/Getty ImagesDouglas DC-3 passenger aircraft, which first flew in 1935. From its introduction, the DC-3 dominated the airline business until the end of World War II. (Archive Photos/Getty Images)


What's on your bucket list?

I would like to get a pilot's license and maybe build a kit plane.


Your top three dinner guests, dead or alive?

Any of the founding fathers of America and Henry Ford


Congratulations to Austin Reenders on this exciting achievement!

As part of the AEA Educational Foundation Scholarship Program, the Universal Avionics Scholarship is available to high school seniors and/or college students who plan to or are attending an accredited school in an avionics program or aircraft maintenance program. 

Since its inception, the AEA Educational Foundation has awarded more than $1.5 million to students seeking careers in the aircraft electronics and aviation maintenance industry. Meet the other individuals who were awarded scholarships for the 2023–24 academic year from the AEA Educational Foundation.


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