Remembering Rudy Frasca
The general aviation industry is remarkable and unusual for many reasons. Among them, I think the genuine care that the workforce has for flying is the most defining characteristic. We all love flying. We want everyone to experience it, and we’re united in our nurturing and protection of it. It’s our common denominator. In our industry, you can compete head-to-head every day of the year and still stand by each other in mutual admiration of warbirds soaring through the sky on a sunny afternoon in Oshkosh, Wisconsin. Entrepreneurial spirit comes second only to the spirit of aviation. In fact, in our industry, it’s hard to find success with only one and not the other. Rudy Frasca understood and embodied that—he helped establish it—and it’s why he inspired so many in the industry.
On May 11, Frasca International announced that Rudy Frasca passed away at the age of 89. Articles in AOPA, Flying, and AVweb, among others, have chronicled his life and times: his passion for flying, his penchant for grassroots aviation, his knowledge of aviation psychology, and the devices he built that testified to those qualities.
In the flight simulation world, he paved a path for general and business aviation manufacturers. He proved that airlines and the armed forces are not the only pilot training organizations that can benefit from flight simulation technology, and he visited educational institutions and training centers personally to help suit his devices to their needs. Most importantly, he conducted business above board.
Rudy left aviation better than he found it. He motivated us to push the boundaries of the possible. It was a challenge innovating in the same industry as him, but it was also an honor. We lost a champion, but the mark he left is indelible. My deepest heartfelt sympathies, thoughts, and prayers go out to the Frasca family, friends, and all who had the pleasure to experience life in his presence.
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