Aerospace veteran Brittney Miculka promotes comprehensive aviation education solutions in her new role at Redbird Flight Simulations, where she heads up the ImagineFlight initiative – a flight school trade organisation.
Where are you from and where are you based now?
I grew up in the Chicago suburbs and went to college at the University of Illinois Institute of Aviation and studied Aviation Human Factors, while also training for my commercial pilot and flight instructor certificates. I spent seven years in Frederick, Maryland, until my recent relocation to Austin, Texas.
What was your first aviation job?
I was a flight instructor at the University of Illinois, teaching students in the professional pilot programme. After three years of instructing part- and full-time, I decided that the airline pilot career track wasn’t for me and that I didn’t need to keep building flight time, so I moved from Illinois to Maryland to work for the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA).
In 2007, I started my career in the AOPA Pilot Information Center, where I spoke to pilots on the phone all day and had to be ready to answer any type of echnical aviation question, from regulation clarifications and training guidance to aircraft valuations. Then security issues became more prevalent in general aviation in the USA, with increased TFRs [temporary flight restrictions]; CBP [Customs and Border Protection] electronic Advance Passenger Information System (eAPIS) requirements; and the proposal for the TSA [Transportation Security Administration] Large Aircraft Security Program, and so I transitioned to the role of manager of security for AOPA government affairs.
My passion has always been flight training and promoting general aviation, and in 2011 I took the opportunity to work in flight-training student retention and growing and strengthening the pilot population with AOPA, as the director of pilot community development. Just recently, I was given the opportunity to move to Austin and lead, as director, a new initiative with Redbird Flight Simulations called ImagineFlight.
With the 1,500 mile [2,400km] move to Austin still so recent, there are many things to learn, to plan, and to do.
Unfortunately, it’s kept me away from my own personal flying. But that is the great thing about flight simulators: no matter the actual time of day or weather outside, I can keep my currency and flying confidence up by hopping in a Redbird!
What is ImagineFlight?
ImagineFlight is a new initiative. ImagineFlight will serve as a flight school trade organisation that promotes and provides quality flight-training experiences. Flight schools are the backbone of the aviation industry and I am looking forward to helping those schools thrive.
What is Redbird’s mission?
Redbird’s mission is to use our passion for aviation to deliver a truly revolutionary training device. Our products are at the leading edge and we work to deliver fully capable and comprehensive flight training devices, backed by the best service and support at a cost every flight school can afford. Redbird Flight is constantly striving to move general aviation forward in the best way possible – through its simulators, its Skyport flight training laboratory and with the RedHawk flight training aircraft.
Redbird is now paving the way with training aircraft re-manufacturing. Redbird began development on the RedHawk project in 2012 with a goal of creating a standardised training aircraft that is affordable, operationally economical and technologically advanced. The result is a re-manufactured Cessna 172, equipped with a Jet-A-burning, FADECequipped Continental engine.
What’s the best part of your job?
Being with an innovative company and working with people who are as passionate and positive about the future of general aviation as I am. I also enjoy working at aviation events and trade shows where I get to talk with our customers and fellow aviators.