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EAA AVIATION CENTER, OSHKOSH, Wis. — (July 22, 2018) — The Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA) is unveiling a new and industry-first member benefit — the EAA Virtual Flight Academy — a powerful new tool for building pilot skills and proficiency.

EAA Virtual Flight Academy is powered by TakeFlight Interactive LLC of Seattle, WA. TakeFlight combines innovations in artificial intelligence, game-based learning, and data analytics to create a new capability — a virtual flight instructor. This virtual instructor guides the user through maneuvers in the simulator, just like a flight instructor would in a real airplane. This technology is changing the way we learn to fly and become proficient pilots.

“Whether it’s your first flight, or your 500th, EAA understands what it takes to maximize your safe enjoyment in the cockpit and build proficiency at home,” said Dave Chaimson, EAA Vice President of Marketing & Business Development. “We first met TakeFlight through the AeroInnovate accelerator program at Oshkosh and it quickly became clear that TakeFlight’s technology platform could help fuel our Flight Plan and Pilot Proficiency initiatives.”

“We are thrilled to roll-out EAA Virtual Flight Academy this year at AirVenture, the world’s greatest General Aviation gathering,” said Brandon Seltz, Founder & CEO at TakeFlight Interactive.  “I’ve had the aviation bug since I was young. I was working as a lead designer on Microsoft Flight Simulator development team around the time I started taking flight lessons. I immediately discovered that I already knew how to fly! I soon saw the opportunity to create a new technology, our virtual flight instructor, to make your time in simulators far more effective. It’s not intended to replace a real flight instructor, but to help make your experience of learning to fly, or improving your proficiency, much more efficient and fun.”

The EAA Virtual Flight Academy will be released in stages comprised of multiple maneuvers, each containing a lesson and evaluation scenario. Each scenario is based on the Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA) Airman Certification Standards (ACS). The Virtual Flight Instructor provides instruction and real-time feedback, as well as scoring of the pilot’s performance against FAA ACS standards.

EAA offers a resource center on its website at www.EAA.org/VFA where members can:

  • View a recording of a virtual flight lesson
  • Download Stage One: Fundamentals of Flight (Aviore or Standard Edition) for free (a $29.95 value)
  • View software and hardware requirements
  • Obtain a discount of 10 percent off list price on additional TakeFlight Interactive modules for EAA’s Virtual Flight Academy
  • Obtain a discount of up to 15 percent off simulator controls from Thrustmaster®

This EAA niche in the pilot training and proficiency space compliments and enhances what others are doing. It is also a tremendous addition to EAA’s other notable proficiency efforts in recent years, including the Pilot Proficiency Center at AirVenture. EAA has leveraged programs such as Young Eagles, Eagle Flights, the EAA Sport Pilot Academy, Sporty’s Learn to Fly Course, flight training scholarships, and the unparalleled gathering of pilots and training that is EAA AirVenture Oshkosh, to help people learn to fly and become more proficient.

About EAA

EAA embodies The Spirit of Aviation through the world’s most engaged community of aviation enthusiasts. EAA’s 210,000 members and 900 local chapters enjoy the fun and camaraderie of sharing their passion for flying, building and restoring recreational aircraft. For more information on EAA and its programs, call 800-JOIN-EAA (800-564-6322) or go to www.eaa.org. For continual news updates, connect with www.twitter.com/EAA.    

About TakeFlight Interactive

TakeFlight was founded by a team of long-standing experts in interactive simulation and training. They helped design and build Microsoft Flight Simulator, blending game design and real-world flight experiences to hook millions on aviation. They also worked with RedBird Flight Simulations and led initial development of the GIFT program. Their deep understanding of game design, simulation and aviation training uniquely positions them to bridge the divide between game-based learning and real-world aviation. For more information on TakeFlight Interactive, please go to www.takeflightinteractive.com.


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