Flying Challenge Rolls Out at Sun ‘n Fun

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Showing off its new and developing TRACE training technology, Redbird Flight Simulations announced at Sun ‘n Fun this week a simulator-based skill test called the Flying Challenge Cup. The challenge, which consists of three flying skills scenarios, will run through the summer and will culminate in a national, live flyoff on a stage at AirVenture in Oshkosh in July.

In this video, Redbird’s Jeff Van West gave AVweb a demonstration of the first challenge, which is a precision landing exercise. Participants sign up for the contest—it’s free—and view a short briefing video before flying the exercise for scoring. The simulator’s TRACE technology scores the pilot across a range of criteria, including centerline tracking, airspeed control and touchdown accuracy. In addition to precision landing, participants—who don’t have to be pilots—can challenge themselves and others with two other maneuvers—steep turns and lazy 8s. Van West said the challenge demonstrates how TRACE technology will be used in conjunction with simulators to set a new paradigm in primary and instrument flight training.

The challenge, sponsored in part by Bonnier Publications, owner of Flying magazine, is intentionally aimed not to be limited to pilots. “We created specific categories for student pilots and non-pilots to ensure they would be represented in this challenge. Top performers in all categories get invited to Oshkosh,” said Charlie Gregoire, Redbird’s VP of marketing and sales. Bonnier, which owns titles in motorcycling, boating and outdoor sports, will cross-market the challenge to its other titles.