May 18, 2020

NBAA extends condolences to the friends and family of lifelong pilot and Frasca International founder Rudy Frasca, who passed away May 11 at the age of 89.

Frasca’s aviation career began with flight lessons at the age of 14. He later joined the U.S. Navy and served as a flight instructor at Glenview Naval Station near Chicago, IL, training pilots on Link trainers that were forerunners to modern flight training devices.

Following the Korean War, Frasca left military service to attend the University of Illinois, where he performed research in the emerging fields of aviation psychology and flight simulation. Building on those experiences, Frasca founded Frasca Aviation in 1958 to bring simulator-based training to the general aviation community, initially utilizing the Model 100 simulator that he built in his garage.

The company later rebranded as Frasca International, as its reach extended outside the U.S. to Germany, Japan, China, Australia and other countries. Today, Frasca offers a full range of simulators, ranging from stationary flight training devices to full-motion simulators covering a wide range of aircraft types, from Cessna 172s to Boeing 737 commercial airliners and even military aircraft.

“Rudy’s influence on flight training spanned across more than six decades, and his pioneering simulators have played a central role in safety and proficiency for multiple generations of general aviation pilots,” said NBAA President and CEO Ed Bolen. “He will be profoundly missed throughout the aviation community.”

Frasca received many honors throughout his career and was inducted into the National Association of Flight Instructors Hall of Fame in 2012.