Captain Gene “Buck” Wilson was born in Atlanta, GA and earned a Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) in Aeronautics at the University of Georgia (UGA) and later a Juris Doctor (JD) in law. He learned to fly as part of the UGA Aero Club and represented the college playing football and earning distinction as a football letterman. He then served as an officer in both the United States Army Reserve (USAR) and the United States Air Force Reserve (USAFR). He continued his aviation career instructing and flying charters at Jet America, Jet Atlanta, Southern Aero, and Atlanta Skylarks flying Convair 400 and DC-7 aircraft.
Captain Wilson was also an instructor, flying for Air Lift International and PanAm. His duties included pilot indoctrination, systems, simulator, and wet ditching. He also flew for the Georgia Aviation Department. He was Air Transport Pilot for five Georgia Governors including Maddox, Carter, Busbee, Harris, and Miller. He flew governors, senators, dignitaries, and Congressional members in registered civil and military aircraft. Notable dignitaries included: Johnny Mathis, Burt Reynolds, Prince Charles (to a UGA football game), Glenn Ford, Eddie Rabbit, King Hussein of Jordan, and James Brown.
Captain Wilson was awarded a Certificate of Recognition by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Inspector for his demonstrated flight skills, leadership, safety, and preparation. He has held a Commercial and Airline Transport Pilot license for more than 40 years and has more than 15,000 flight hours. Captain Wilson also flew for his uncle, Tom Murphy, former Speaker of the Georgia House of Representatives and Governor Harris during his two terms in office.
Captain Wilson is a current member and former officer in the Aero Club of Atlanta and the National Chapter of the Aeronautics Association. Understanding aviation safety and legal issues, he attended law school, earned a JD, and graduated Magna Cum Laude. He later organized Wilson and Associates, Aviation and Safety, and has assisted those seeking analysis of their aviation careers. It was important to him to promote aviation professionalism and camaraderie in Georgia while giving back to the aviation community. He is also recognized as being a successful advocate for Federal Grants which have improved many Georgia airports. His experience colors the views he has expressed, “Aviation in Georgia and America can be improved and thus do the job better. A safety program must be the overriding goal of excellence.”
Captain Wilson has observed aviation from all angles as well as the “gadget innovations that have fueled this majestic industry in Georgia.” He is blessed to have had a robust career in Georgia aviation development. He stated, “Aviation is on the threshold of new opportunities in Georgia. His fifty years of experience in commercial, general, and military aviation include: aviation litigation, expert testimony, research, deposition, witness interviews, aircrew performance, pre- and post-accident investigations, reconstruction, National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) analysis, Cockpit Voice Recorder (CVR) Flight Data Recorders (FDR) interpretations, looking at human factors, cockpit design, aircraft material integrity, crew member fail safe error analysis. As a Training Instructor at Airlift International, Pan American, Flight Safety at Lockheed, he has performed duties as an airline Captain and Instructor for pilot indoctrination, systems operation, simulator training, and wet dishing under Federal Aviation Regulations (FAR) 121, 125, 135 and 91. He also conducted Fail Safe Operational Safety Audits for domestic, international, and corporate entities.
Captain Wilson has served as luminary mentor for many years for student athletes at UGA who have an interest in aviation careers in Georgia. He has provided leadership and wisdom for the transportation of student athletes and to the Office of the President UGA. He has promoted and encouraged the growth and public support of aviation within the state by extraordinary achievements of service and through his outstanding and lasting contributions to aviation in Georgia. Captain Wilson was recently appointed to the Board of Electors for the Georgia Aviation Hall of Fame (GAHOF). He has met the criteria and purpose and is deserving of enshrinement in the GAHOF. Captain Wilson was nominated for introduction into the GAHOF by former governor Joe Frank Harris who signed the organization into law.
Education: UGA Bachelor of Science Business Administration, Aeronautical and Juris Doctor of Law (Magna Cum Laude).
Aviation experience: Airline transport pilot, instructor, flight engineer, airplane single and multi-engine, land and instrument qualified, 15,000+ hours in over 25 aircraft of varying class, category, and type.
Type of Certificates: PIC-SIC DC-3, DC-6 & 7, DC-8-61, DC-9, CL 144, 727, 747-400, T-34, Lear 23-24-35, Citation 500, C-46, BE-80, BE-99, BE-200, and CV 440-580.