BJT Editor In Chief Takes Top Journalism Award

BJT editor in chief Matt Thurber has won the 2019 Aerospace Media Award for the Best Safety, Training, & Simulation submission, sponsored by CAE. Thurber’s article—"Learning to Fly on Simulated Wings"—appeared in the March issue of BJT sister publication Aviation International News and chronicled the ab initio flight-training experience of Bill Forelli. The California-based marketing manager for an online electronics retailer soloed in less than 10 hours, leveraging his experience with computer-based programs such as Flight Simulator X and X-Plane.

Forelli not only documented his training flights—real and simulated—on video, but posted them online, comparing his experiences in simulated training and flying “in real life” or “IRL.” Resulting from online connections, Forelli practiced using PilotEdge, a simulation program that connects with live “controllers,” including some with real-world ATC experience and also strictly vetted enthusiasts who have logged more than 1,000 hours directing traffic on other virtual networks.

Thurber—who keeps a PC-based flight simulator in his office—accepted the award during the 2019 Aerospace Media Dinner and Awards, held June 16 at the Aero Club de France during the Paris Air Show. He is the editor in chief of AIN Publications, parent company of Business Jet Traveler, BJT Waypoints, and numerous other properties.