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Embry-Riddle Flight Teams Shine in Women’s Cross-Country Air Race Classic
Prescott, Ariz and Daytona Beach, Fla., June 30, 2009
Two Embry-Riddle flight teams turned in impressive performances in the 33rd annual women’s Air Race Classic, a 2,400-mile race that began June 23 in Denver, Colo., and ended June 26 in Atlantic, Iowa, including stops at airports in several cities throughout the central United States.
Out of a field of 32 teams, the team from Embry-Riddle’s Prescott campus was the highest-scoring first-time team, took second place in the collegiate division, and came in sixth overall. The team was composed of pilots Kim Turrell and Jenna Albrecht, alternate pilots Alice Usher and Kristen McTee, and weather adviser Laura King.
“We met so many incredible women during this once-in-a-lifetime experience,” Albrecht said. “There was a lot to learn and we had to do it quickly and find solutions to challenges that came up along the way.”
The team from Embry-Riddle’s Daytona Beach campus finished third in the collegiate division and 10th overall. Pilots Marisha Falk and Hannah Northern, alternate pilot Erica Larsen, team coach Carolina Lenz-Anderson, and weather adviser Debbie Schaum constituted the team. This was the third year that a team from the Daytona Beach campus competed; last year’s team was named the top collegiate team and finished eighth overall.
“We are very proud of these young women from the Prescott and Daytona Beach campuses who earned their spots in the Air Race Classic through hard work, dedication, and exceptional flying skills,” said Dr. Frank Ayers, chair of the Flight Department at Embry-Riddle’s Daytona Beach campus. “They fully represent the Embry-Riddle commitment to diversity and demonstrate the leadership role that young women play on both of our residential campuses.”
Both Embry-Riddle teams flew Cessna 172 single-engine aircraft from Embry-Riddle’s fleet, equipped with the Garmin G1000 glass cockpit.
The Prescott team was sponsored by Legend Aviation, Cessna, Garmin, Westwind Aviation, EAA Chapter 658, Jeppesen, the San Diego Air & Space Museum, and numerous community partners.
The Daytona Beach team was sponsored by members of the Embry-Riddle community; Cessna; Island Air Express; SheltAir; Shell Aviation; Clarity Aloft; Aviation Laboratories; the Pilot Zone; WxWorx; Adelaide Shores RV Resort; and Hard Oaks Design Studio.
This year’s event began at Denver Centennial Airport, with the racers flying in daylight hours using visual flight rules. They were timed at airport stops in the cities of Liberal, Kan.; Sweetwater, Texas; Lufkin, Texas; Russellville, Ark.; Grenada, Miss.; Sparta, Tenn.; Jacksonville, Ill.; and Racine, Wis. The competitors had three mandatory overnight stopping points before they completed the race at Atlantic Municipal Airport in Iowa.
In the Air Race Classic, each aircraft is judged against its own handicapped cruising speed, and the teams must follow the route as closely as possible while improving their average speed. This format focuses on piloting skills and decision making instead of the speed of the aircraft.
The competition continues the tradition of women’s transcontinental air racing that began 80 years ago. The Air Race Classic Inc. is a nonprofit organization dedicated to increasing public awareness of general aviation, demonstrating women's roles in aviation, encouraging and educating current and future women pilots, and preserving and promoting the tradition of pioneering women in aviation. For more information, visit www.airraceclassic.org.
Besides the Air Race Classic, Embry-Riddle flight teams also compete in the annual Safety and Flight Evaluation Conference (SAFECON) competition sponsored by the National Intercollegiate Flying Association (NIFA) and consistently rank among the top teams in the nation. At this year’s NIFA SAFECON, the Eagles team from the Daytona Beach campus took second place; the team won the national championship in 1992. The Golden Eagles team from the Prescott campus came in fourth and has won the national championship seven times since 1993.
Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, the world's largest, fully accredited university specializing in aviation and aerospace, is a nonprofit, independent institution offering more than 40 baccalaureate, master's and Ph.D. degree programs in its colleges of Arts and Sciences, Aviation, Business and Engineering. Embry-Riddle educates students at residential campuses in Daytona Beach, Fla., and Prescott, Ariz., and through the Worldwide Campus with more than 150 locations in the United States, Europe, Asia, and the Middle East. The university is a major research center, seeking solutions to real-world problems in partnership with the aerospace industry, other universities and government agencies. For more information, visit http://www.embryriddle.edu, follow us on Twitter (@EmbryRiddle) and facebook.com/EmbryRiddleUniversity, and find expert videos at YouTube.com/EmbryRiddleUniv.