Bob Hoover Academy Gets Redbird Simulator

The Bob Hoover Academy was created to inspire at-risk and underserved teens to get engaged in STEAM education and pursue their aviation dreams. Bob Hoover Academy

Salinas, California-based Bob Hoover Academy has received a nice boost to its goal to inspire at-risk youth to reach higher in their educational potential. Austin, Texas-based Redbird Flight Simulations donated a full motion Redbird FMX simulator, worth nearly $65,000, to the program.

“Our partnership with Redbird is multiplying the scope and impact of the academy,” said BHA chairman and co-founder Sean D. Tucker. “As with any program, time in our aircraft and with our instructors is limited by a number of factors. Simulation helps our students make the most of that time.”

BHA will use the Redbird FMX to introduce students to visual and instrument flight. The simulator will also be used during debriefs of actual flights to help instructors recreate mistakes and show students how they can be avoided and corrected.

Tucker started the academy with his son Eric in 2014 to give back to the community after a continuing, highly successful airshow career. The program was initially called Every Kid Can Fly, but took on the new name in 2017 to honor legendary fighter pilot, test pilot and airshow performer Bob Hoover, who passed away in October 2016.

The Bob Hoover Academy has partnered with the Monterey County Office of Education to create SAFE Flight — a high school curriculum geared toward STEM and aviation. Through STEM education and the inspiration of flight, BHA hopes to help high school students who have started off on the wrong track reach their potential. “Learning to fly helps show them another life besides crime and the other hardships they’ve experience and helps them develop confidence and accountability,” said Sean D. Tucker.

Pia Bergqvist joined FLYING in December 2010. A passionate aviator, Pia started flying in 1999 and quickly obtained her single- and multi-engine commercial, instrument and instructor ratings. After a decade of working in general aviation, Pia has accumulated almost 3,000 hours of flight time in nearly 40 different types of aircraft.

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