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Redbird Conference to Migrate to Oshkosh in 2017

October 27, 2016 - Jerry Gregoire, owner and founder of Redbird Flight Simulations, announced at their popular annual Migration flight training conference at the Redbird Skyport in San Marcos, Texas, this week that the conference will be moving next year. “If we tried to continue holding the conference here at the Skyport, we’d have to start limiting attendance, and we’re convinced that would be a very bad idea,” Gregoire said. “I’m very pleased to tell you that, thanks to our good friend and board member Jack Pelton, Migration 2017 will be held … at the EAA AirVenture Museum in Oshkosh.”

The Migration conference, currently in its sixth year, brings together several hundred flight training professionals from around the world. The conference emphasizes networking and offers presentations by key players in the industry, as well as numerous smaller break-out sessions.

While the conference may have started as a means for Redbird to connect more closely to their simulator customers, it’s grown beyond that, into an event that’s focused on finding solutions for the issues faced by flight instructors and flight schools worldwide, whether or not they involve flight simulation.

This year’s event was hosted by Redbird board chairman Craig Fuller, and featured keynote presentations by AOPA’s Paul Harris; Cirrus CEO and co-founder Dale Klapmeier;  President and CEO of Passur Aerospace Jim Barry; and Piper Aircraft President and CEO Simon Caldecott. In addition, EAA senior editor Hal Bryan joined Robert Goyer of Plane and Pilot magazine, freelance writer Amy Laboda, and Ian Twombly from AOPA for a spirited keynote panel discussion entitled “What We Really Think.”

“This was a great opportunity to talk about what EAA is doing to further their mission of growing participation in aviation,” Bryan said. “Talking about our Young Eagles and Eagle Flights programs, our emphasis on homebuilts as an affordable pathway to aviation, and, more tactically, our Sport Pilot Academy in front of an appreciative and informed audience was a real privilege.”

In addition to the various keynote presentations, conference goers attended several break-out sessions on topics like aeromedical reform, experiential learning, flight reviews, and, of course, flight simulation as a training tool. On the lighter side, attendees also participated in a team-building exercise called “UCON Build Something that Flies.” This was a competition that challenged participants to build a model aircraft out of a collection of parts that was presented to each team in a “mystery box.” Parts included foam core, rubber bands, a propeller, super glue, not to mention a photo of Elvis Presley and a can of Cheez Whiz. The designs were judged in multiple categories, including uniqueness and best marketing pitch, and then test flown to see which aircraft managed the shortest takeoff distance and longest time aloft. Bryan joined some of his industry counterparts as a guest judge and, after reviewing the various entries said, “The important thing is that everyone had fun.”

EAA looks forward to hosting the seventh annual Migration conference in Oshkosh October 16-18, 2017. “This is going to be great fun … it’s a beautiful venue with nearly unlimited facilities, housing a conference that will draw even more flight training institutions, increasing our collective opportunities for networking,” Gregoire said.

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