Expect to see the future flight training, including TRACE instructional technology, a “connected airplane,” the VTO Helicopter Simulator, and RedHawk training aircraft.

The suMigrationConf_2014mmer airshow season has finished, but the Redbird team is hard at work preparing for the company’s flagship event: The Migration Flight Training Conference. Migration will be held October 27-29, 2014 at Redbird’s San Marcos Skyport training laboratory. This fall’s event will be the fourth Migration conference, and will offer more interactive sessions and more topic areas than ever before. The four most important topics will be student-led, experiential learning in simulators; a “connected” airplane that plays a direct role in student training, the economics of all-diesel training fleets, and motion simulation’s role in reducing primary helicopter training times. “Migration is where we open the doors to our customers and show how specific Redbird products or projects fit into our ultimate goal of revitalizing the industry,” says Charlie Gregoire, VP of Sales and Marketing for Redbird Flight Simulations. “For example, the Flying Challenge Cup was a terrific success. It proved TRACE technology can teach pilot skills without an instructor on board, so we’ll build on that system for our Guided Independent Flight Training, GIFT, system. However, it also showed how our efforts to reach potential pilots fell far short of our needs. So it’s time to break out from traditional challenges and find new ways to reach tomorrow’s students.” To find out more about the Migration Flight Training conference, sign up for the mailing list at


Twelve talented finalists will fly a Redbird simulator live, onstage at Oshkosh to see which
pilot, student pilot, and aviation enthusiast will take home the Flying Challenge Cup

photoOshkosh, WI (July 27, 2014) – “When we opened the Flying Challenge at Sun n’ Fun last April, we didn’t know if we’d get a hundred participants or several thousand,” says Charlie Gregoire, VP of Sales and Marketing for Redbird. “So we’re pretty happy with the results.”

In total, nearly 2000 pilots, student pilots and aviation enthusiasts signed up for the Flying Challenge Cup. Not all lived close enough to a Redbird Simulator to compete; yet over 300 flew the challenge in 32 U.S. states, Canada, Australia, Panama and Saudi Arabia. In total, this group launched about 8000 times to try and better their performances—over 500 hours of flight time in Redbird simulators. Gregoire says the data collected watching pilots improve as they learn is a first for the industry.

“We’re taking the TRACE technology powering these challenges and building the next generation of flight training. That’s well underway, and we expect it will be part of active flight training before the end of the year,” says Gregoire.

The finalists range in age from 15 to 71 (details at All have been invited to Oshkosh to the championship event, which will be filmed on stage in Boeing Plaza at 9:00 am. Airshow and race pilot Mike Goulian, EAA’s Hal Bryan and Flying magazine editor Robert Goyer will host the show. The final event is a flight at the virtual Oshkosh airshow, consisting of a short-field takeoff, a steep turn, and a precision landing to a stop all on (virtual) Oshkosh’s Runway 18. The video explanation is available at

“We’re privileged with this opportunity to bring 12 people to Oshkosh, most of whom have never been,” says Gregoire, “and it should be a terrific event. But the most exciting takeaway from this entire challenge is that TRACE works. People all over the world climbed into those simulators, got feedback on their performance, and felt compelled to do better—and they did get better, a lot better, time and time again.”


While Disney’s Dusty learns how to fight fires on movie screens across the U.S., visitors at Oshkosh can try it for themselves at the Redbird Flight Simulations tent

Oshkosh, WI (July 27, 2014) – Prior to the release of Planes: Fire & Rescue, Disney approached Redbird Flight Simulations about building a Dusty simulator people could actually fly. The result of that collaboration has toured the U.S. promoting the movie, and will be available for flight at Redbird’s tent (Booth 304) at Oshkosh Airventure.

“This has been a terrible year for wildfires, and we in no way wish to make light of the tough and dangerous work done by real air-attack pilots every year,” says Charlie Gregoire, VP of Sales and Marketing for Redbird. “However, you never know when a first exposure to aviation, even just for fun, could set in motion a career that eventually saves lives. While based on the cartoon Dusty, the underlying technology is what we use for actual pilot training.”

The technology is Redbird TRACE, the same interactive system used for the worldwide Flying Cup Challenge and Redbird’s Migration training program in development. In the Dusty scenario, the pilot must approach a wildfire, drop water, reload the water tank at a nearby lake, and drop again. Disney provided landscape art from the actual movie, as well as the voice actors for the characters Blade and Dipper, who coach the pilot during the simulation.

“These custom simulators are becoming a bit of a tradition,” says Gregoire. “We did a J-3 Cub in 2012, a Yak-52 for the Aerostars last year, and now a fictional crop-duster based on an Air Tractor AT-301. Your guess is as good as mine what we’ll bring to the show next year.”