Hands, Mind, and Heart

What started as a handful of passionate enthusiasts has developed into a major force—and a significant component—of the aircraft industry.

EAA Founder’s Innovation Prize

Founder's Innovation Prize

EAA's Founder's Innovation Prize competition aims to reduce the rate of in-flight loss of control accidents in experimental amateur-built aircraft by challenging EAA members to come up with a solution. Submissions range from technology to training and are evaluated based on effectiveness, ease of installation, and cost.

Learn More About the Loss of Control Root Cause Model ›

Five finalists are chosen each year to present their solutions in front of a panel of expert judges. The judges then award first-, second-, and third-place winners with prizes of $25,000, $10,000, and $5,000 respectively.

Virtual Events

So You Think You Can Make a 180 Back on Takeoff? An In-Depth Look at Engine Failure Options

Please join us on Tuesday, September 22, at 7 p.m. CDT for an insightful presentation on the 180-degree turn back after an engine failure on takeoff. This will expand upon the work of EAA member Rick Marshall published in EAA Sport Aviation in May. As part of this presentation, test pilots and EAA safety committee members Charlie Precourt, Chris Glaeser, and Terry Lutz will provide instruction on the use of the EAA Flight Test Manual test cards for climb and glide that will enable you to determine your own aircraft’s capabilities should you find yourself in an engine failure scenario. You will not want to miss it!

Register to Attend ›

Founder’s Innovation Prize Grand Championship Check-in

Also tune in on Wednesday, September 23, at 7 p.m. CDT for a virtual Founder’s Innovation Prize Grand Championship progress check-in. Several Grand Championship contestants will share the latest on their solutions that will ultimately reduce the number of fatal amateur-built accidents caused by loss of control. This webinar-style event will revisit some of the strongest entries from the previous four years, and you will get a sneak peek into the postponed Grand Championship event!

Register to Attend ›

The 2020 Grand Championship EAA Founder's Innovation Prize competition

The Grand Championship has been postponed until 2021 due to the cancellation of EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2020.

Finalists and honorable mention contestants in the Founder's Innovation Prize competitions at AirVenture 2016, 2017, 2018, or 2019 will be eligible to be compete in the 2020 Founder's Innovation Prize Grand Championship. Each team contestant must include at least one original member of the team that competed in 2016, 2017, 2018, or 2019.


The 2020 Grand Championship aims to further the progress that has been made by finalists and honorable mentions in the competition in previous years. The goal is to encourage the strongest entries from the first four years to continue to develop their existing ideas into real world loss-of-control solutions.

Apply to Compete in 2021           Amendments

2019 Winner

BuzzBall Project Wins 2019 Founder's Innovation Prize

ETHAN BRODSKY'S invention, designed to help maintain coordinated flight, was deemed winner of the 2019 Founder's Innovation Prize. After receiving fourth place in the 2017 competition, Brodsky worked to improve and further develop his innovation. With the win, his project gets a monetary boost of $25,000. The cash prize is to help him further develop and test the concept and, ideally, make it commercially viable.

Read More about 2019 Winner 

For More Information

If you have specific questions, please send an email to foundersinnovationprize@eaa.org.

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