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Founder’s Innovation Prize Brings in More Than 140 Entries
Final five to be presented, judged at AirVenture
June 2, 2016 - Wednesday’s entry deadline for the inaugural Founder’s Innovation Prize brought a late flurry of registrations, as 141 ideas from throughout the U.S. and Canada were submitted in the contest to find safety innovations to prevent loss-of-control accidents in homebuilt aircraft.
“Wow. What an incredible response to EAA’s call for ideas to enhance aviation safety,” said Sean Elliott, EAA’s vice president of advocacy and safety, who is coordinating the competition. “As we’ve seen throughout EAA’s history, the concepts and ideas from individuals can make a huge difference in aviation development. We know that will be the case as we review these entries.”
The Founder’s Innovation Prize judging panel will now review the entries, with the top five moving to a public presentation during EAA AirVenture Oshkosh on the evening of Tuesday, July 26, at Theater in the Woods. The goal of the prize is to keep the spirit of innovation alive in the EAA community and leverage its creativity toward solving specific challenges facing general aviation. The top finishers will receive a cash prize, which could go toward developing their solution, and prominent exposure at AirVenture.
The inaugural EAA Founder’s Innovation Prize is a contest to solve the problem of fatal loss of control accidents in amateur-built aircraft through innovation. The contest is intentionally open-ended, with the only stated goal to reduce fatalities from this type of accident in amateur-built aircraft dramatically over the next decade – 25 percent in the next five years, 50 percent in the next 10.
In related news, Mike Goulian has joined the judging panel, bringing extensive experience as an aerobatic competition and air show pilot, as well as a presenter on aviation safety-related issues throughout the country. Goulian is stepping in for Burt Rutan, who can no longer commit to the 2016 judging panel due to unforeseen circumstances, but is looking forward to rejoining the panel in 2017. Former NASA astronaut and test pilot Charlie Precourt, who writes a monthly aviation safety column in EAA Sport Aviation, has been named chief judge for the competition.
Other judges on the panel include Van’s Aircraft founder Dick VanGrunsven, renowned aviation instructor and lecturer Rod Machado, and preeminent test pilot and air racer Dave Morss.
The Founders Innovation Prize is Sponsored by: