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Pilot wins trip for taking safety seriouslyPilot wins trip for taking safety seriously

Former military aviator Taylor Boaks of Edison, New Jersey, is used to a rigorous approach to maintaining proficiency. While he appreciates the freedom and flexibility of recreational flying, this airline transport pilot with multiple type ratings and about 3,000 hours logged to date said the Captain Jepp Challenge fits perfectly within a strategy to maintain skills and stay sharp.

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Boaks is the second of three grand prize winners to be awarded an all-expenses-paid trip for two to EAA AirVenture in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, for completing aviation safety courses and programs. The contest offers participants a selection of aviation safety courses or programs to choose from (there are eight options in the current cycle). Completing any of the offerings generates an entry in the quarterly drawings, one entry per course. Completing all eight courses improves the odds of winning a prize, and also (not coincidentally) increases the participating pilot's aviation safety knowledge.

“As a former military aviator, safety and continuing education are an ingrained part of aviation with regular safety meetings and training, recurrent simulators, annual training requirements, and more,” Boaks wrote in an email. “While some of these requirements can, at times, seem burdensome many of the regulations and policies are written in blood. Recreational aviation can offer more flexibility and the freedom of flying is what draws many people to aviation. That increased freedom, especially with recent changes such as third class medical reform, places additional responsibility on each individual pilot.”

Taylor Boaks. Contributed photo.

Boaks takes those responsibilities seriously, and encourages fellow pilots to take advantage of opportunities to learn and sharpen skills.

“Programs such as the Captain Jepp Challenge, AOPA Air Safety Institute, and FAA Wings provide opportunities and a framework for pilots to perform preflight inspections on themselves and to continue their education,” Boaks wrote. “Regardless of whether you are flying combat missions in a tactical environment, transiting between continents, or simply circling the local pattern, the ultimate goal is usually the same: for everyone to walk away safely and, ideally, to be able to use the aircraft again.”

The contest was the product of a partnership between Jeppesen and AOPA launched at EAA AirVenture in 2016. In addition to the four grand prizes (the final winner of which will be drawn March 31 from among the current quarter’s participants), monthly drawings have been held for $250 MyGoFlight gift cards. The next drawing for that prize will be Feb. 28.

Topics: Corporate Partner, Safety and Education

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