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Founder’s Innovation Prize Judges Announced

May 24, 2018 - The third year of the Founder’s Innovation Prize competition promises to be a great one, with another group of notable aviation experts lined up for the judging panel. The panel features one new addition, as well as four returning judges from previous years. The Founder’s Innovation Prize, presented by Airbus, challenges EAA members to find a solution to lower the rate of accidents caused by in-flight loss of control.

The competition’s newest judge, Pat Anderson, is a professor of aerospace engineering at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University and director of Embry-Riddle’s Eagle Flight Research Center. He has a Ph.D. in mechanical, materials and aerospace engineering from the University of Central Florida, and has led numerous aviation research projects with students and staff.

The four judges returning to the panel include:

Charlie Precourt, a former NASA astronaut who flew four space shuttle missions, including two as a shuttle commander. He currently works as the general manager of Orbital ATK’s Propulsion Systems Division, and chairs EAA’s Safety Committee.

Gregory Feith, a former NTSB senior air safety investigator and aviation safety expert. His notable investigations include Pan Am Flight 103, Swissair Flight 111, American Eagle Flight 4184, and ValuJet Flight 592. He was inducted into the Living Legends of Aviation in 2016.

Dave Morss, one of the country’s preeminent civilian test pilots and air racers. He has tested hundreds of aircraft designs and also appeared on the TV series MythBusters as an expert on aircraft design and safety.

Dick VanGrunsven, designer of the Van’s RV series of aircraft kits. His kit designs are the world’s most popular, with more than 10,000 completed aircraft now flying worldwide.

The judges will select the top five entries to compete in a live showdown on Tuesday night at EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2018, with prizes of $25,000, $10,000, and $5,000 for the first, second, and third place winners.

Submit your idea for a chance to present in front of the panel and win one of the top three prizes. Find information about the competition and the application here.

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