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Founder’s Innovation Prize Finalists to Compete

Five teams will compete to solve loss of control

By Megan Esau, EAA Assistant Editor

July 23, 2018 - Five finalists will present their solutions for in-flight loss of control (LOC) in a Shark Tank-style program at An Evening With Innovators – The Founder’s Innovation Prize on Tuesday at 8 p.m. at Theater in the Woods, with submissions ranging from technology to training-based solutions.

The Founder’s Innovation Prize competition, presented by Airbus, is in its third year and challenges EAA members to share their best ideas for reducing the rate of in-flight LOC accidents in experimental amateur-built aircraft.

A panel of five expert judges will evaluate the finalists’ solutions based on effectiveness, ease of installation, and cost. The first-place winner will be awarded $25,000, and the second- and third-place winners will take home $10,000 and $5,000, respectively.

The five judges include incumbents Charlie Precourt, former NASA astronaut in the space shuttle program and chair of EAA’s safety committee; Gregory Feith, former NTSB senior air safety investigator; civilian test pilot and air racer Dave Morss; and Dick VanGrunsven, whose RV series are the most popular kit designs in the word. Joining the panel this year is Pat Anderson, professor of aerospace engineering at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University and director of ERAU’s Eagle Flight Research Center.

The evening will be emceed by Lt. Col. Olga Custodio, the first Hispanic female to complete U.S. Air Force undergraduate pilot training.

2018 Founder’s Innovation Prize Finalists

Mike Vaccaro, EAA 152409, Chris Jones, EAA 670032, and Cecil Jones, EAA 255202
Niceville, Florida
Enhanced Aural AOA Logic

Jack Hohner, EAA 170715
Spokane, Washington
Feel Flight Grip

William Hinks, EAA 186485, Mark Spatz, EAA 1205192, and Naser Al Madi, EAA 1277056
Akron, Ohio
An Angle-of-Attack Sensor in a Smartphone?

Ken Hall, EAA 281118
Windsor, Colorado
The Virtual Co-Pilot

Ray Kwong, EAA 1250962, and Ray Bracy, EAA 1278116
Annapolis, Maryland
Epic Optix

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