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Mentors Needed for EAA Founder’s Innovation Prize

May 2017 - EAA is seeking experts in engineering, flight test, and flight training to serve as mentors for applicants to the EAA Founder’s Innovation Prize. Started in 2016, the purpose of the Founder’s Innovation Prize is to solicit the best and brightest members of the experimental aircraft community to bring forth innovative solutions to in-flight loss of control, the leading category of fatal accidents in general aviation. The solutions are judged and the winner takes home $25,000, with second place and third place receiving cash prizes as well. The Founder’s Innovation Prize will continue annually until at least 2020 with the goal of reducing fatal in-flight loss-of-control accidents by 25 percent in five years and 50 percent in 10 years.

Though the inaugural Founder’s Innovation Prize produced promising solutions to loss of control, we are looking at ways in which we can improve upon last year’s success and continue to work toward our goals. One of the changes we are implementing for the 2017 Founder’s Innovation Prize is the introduction of a mentorship program designed to help applicants deliver the highest-quality entries possible to EAA for judging. Voluntary to both mentors and applicants, the mentorship program will depend on experts throughout the aviation community knowledgeable in the following areas:

  • Flight test
  • Aircraft control
  • Avionics
  • Aircraft design
  • Flight training
  • Human factors
  • Fabrication and installation.

A mentor will be paired with applicants based on the nature of the applicant’s proposed solution. Mentors will provide technical assistance to applicants and should have the availability to work with applicants remotely. Mentors should be available during the remainder of the Founder’s Innovation Prize application period, which ends June 15, 2017.

EAA invites you to be a part of this groundbreaking initiative that seeks to solve one of general aviation’s most pressing safety issues. If you are interested in becoming a Founder’s Innovation Prize mentor, please contact Mack Dickson, EAA senior government advocacy specialist, at mdickson@eaa.org or 920-426-6103.

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