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EAA Founders' Innovation Prize competition returnsEAA Founders' Innovation Prize competition returns

The Experimental Aircraft Association is inviting “doers, dreamers, and innovators” to submit ideas to counter loss-of-control accidents in amateur-built aircraft in its second annual Founders’ Innovation Prize competition.

Entries will be accepted through June 15. The winner will be chosen in July at EAA AirVenture 2017 in Oshkosh, Wisconsin.

The top five entries will be invited to showcase their innovations at a Shark Tank-style public presentation at EAA AirVenture.

The top entry will receive a $25,000 award. There also will be cash prizes for second and third place.

The FAA and the National Transportation Safety Board have identified loss-of-control scenarios as a leading cause of general aviation accidents. The Founders’ Innovation Prize was created to encourage ideas from all sources to help reduce those accidents, EAA said in a news release.

In 2016, the inaugural competition drew more than 140 entries, including submissions from well-known aviation designers and from several who had never submitted ideas for a design contest before.

Ihab Awad of San Jose, California, earned the top prize with his entry titled “Airball,” which continually synthesized flight data so a pilot could quickly understand the current flight state of an airplane.

“Just as EAA has drawn from the ideas and abilities of its members through its first 65 years, the Founders’ Innovation Prize allows a pathway for these creative ideas in flight safety,” said Sean Elliott, EAA vice president of advocacy and safety. “We no doubt will build on the originality, practicality, and imagination shown in the competition’s first year in 2016, and we encourage individuals, groups and educational institutions to all get involved in our ultimate mission—improving flight safety by reducing loss-of-control accidents.”

Complete entry information and rules are available at the EAA website, where the 2016 champion and finalists also may be viewed.

Topics: Experimental Aircraft Association, EAA AirVenture

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