Learn, compete in Redbird's simulator challenge

May 16, 2014

Markings on the runway show this is a practice session for the landing contest.

If you’re not the kind of pilot who sits by while others grab the glory, it’s not too late to get signed up for Redbird Flight Simulations’ Flying Challenge Cup, the interactive, simulated aviation experience which, as Flight Training Editor Ian J. Twombly reported, "combines serious training with a whole lot of fun."

Rising to the challenge might also bring out your hidden star power at flying the three competition scenarios—precision landings, steep turns, or Lazy 8s—earning you a chance to compete in a final round at EAA AirVenture in Oshkosh, Wis., this summer.

As of mid-May, some 1,558 entrants, including more than 300 who were neither certificated pilots nor student pilots, had signed up to participate in learning and practicing the three scenarios, and engaging in the friendly competition the Flying Challenge Cup offers, Redbird said. Approximately 3,500 simulated training, practice, and scored-for-real competition flights had been flown.

Registration for the Flying Challenge Cup at the website dedicated to the competition is free. Local simulator operators provide the venues for the flights. There may be a charge for the use of their simulators. The challenge provides registrants with a coupon allowing you to get your first 30 minutes of "sim time" for $15.

Try one, two, or all three of the flight scenarios. Start with the scenario’s introductory video. Then begin your flying in practice mode, where a narrator takes you through the steps you will learn. There is no limit to how many times you can try each scenario and measure your progress based on a detailed scoring system.

When ready to compete, enter competition mode, flying without the narration, or guide boxes, and with your scores (based on FAA criteria) now counted for real.

Competition will end on July 6. The top scorers from around the country, in individual categories, and for combined scores, will gather at AirVenture for a final fly-off, and the crowning of a champion from each category, Redbird said.