Saturday, December 31, 2016

EAA wants your safety innovations for amateur-built aircraft

The Experimental Aircraft Association plans to hold a second competition in 2017 for what is now planned as annual event to award $25,000 to the winning idea to improve safety in amateur-built aircraft.

Entries for the 2017 Founders’ Innovation Prize competition are now being accepted online to cull new ideas from the aviation community to counter loss-of-control accidents.

The organization says the top five ideas will compete in a “Shark Tank-style” competition at EAA AirVenture next July in Oshkosh, Wisconsin.

The winner will take home $25,000, with cash prizes also being awarded for the top two runners up.

EAA — which is headed by former Cessna Aircraft Co. CEO Jack Pelton — held the competition for the first time this year, with the inaugural event drawing more than 140 entries.

The 2016 contest was won by Ihab Awad of San Jose, Calif., for his “Airball” cockpit display innovation — the idea is to keep the ball at the right place and size on the graphic display — that continually synthesizes flight data to help pilots more immediately understand the flight state of the their airplane.

“Just as EAA has drawn from the ideas and abilities of its members through its first 65 years, the Founders’ Innovation Prize allows a pathway for these creative ideas in flight safety,” says Sean Elliott, EAA’s vice president of advocacy and safety. “We no doubt will build on the originality, practicality and imagination shown in the competition’s first year in 2016, and we encourage individuals, groups and educational institutions to all get involved in our ultimate mission – improving flight safety by reducing loss-of-control accidents.”

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