SHELL LAKE, WI - Shell Lake student Hunter Johnson is the recipient of the first Mark T. Schoonover Memorial Flight Scholarship with funding to complete his Private Pilots License. Johnson, son of Matthew and Rose Johnson, is a 17-year-old, taking his flight training at the Shell Lake Airport with local flight instructor Dave Nielsen.
Mark Schoonover was a retired US Navy A6 Bombardier Navigator serving aboard the Aircraft Carrier USS Ranger. He grew up in Cornell, Wisconsin and graduated from UW - Eau Claire, before entering Naval Flight School in Pensacola, Florida. Following Navy retirement, he continued his passion for flying and was based at the Chetek Municipal Airport. After his passing 2019, his family wanted to share his love of flying by starting a scholarship for new pilots.
Flight Instructor Nielsen, himself a retired U.S. Army aviator, is pleased to be supporting the aviation goals of the Schoonover Fund. Johnson will complete his pilots license in a few months and hopes to receive additional flight training in rotorcraft and one day fly medical helicopters. Nielsen noted, “The generosity of the Schoonover family is having a huge impact on this young man’s life and his ability to progress as an aviator.”
Mark’s wife Traci and daughter Abby Schoonover are pleased to make the first Flight Scholarship Award of $5,000 to Hunter Johnson and wish him the best as he pursues the same aviation dreams. “I know Mark would be proud to pass along the chance for young people to live their aviation dreams.”
Local Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA) Chapter #631 is helping the Schoonover Family Trust in selecting and managing qualified candidates interested in aviation. Those interested in learning more about the Mark T. Schoonover Memorial flight training program are encouraged to research EAA Chapter #631.
[Photo L-R: Abby Schoonover, Traci Schoonover, Pilot Hunter Johnson, Instructor Dave Nielsen]