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Embry-Riddle Female Pilots Secure Top-10 Finishes in Historic Air Race Classic
Batavia, Ohio, June 25, 2012
Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University pilots earned two Top-10 finishes and won best overall collegiate team after competing against more than 50 teams of all-women pilots this past week as part of the cross-country Air Race Classic.
The Daytona Beach, Fla., campus flight team – consisting of Marisha Falk and Danielle Erlichman – was No. 1 in collegiate and finished second overall in the competition, while the Prescott, Ariz., campus team of Kristine Anthony and Marlene Wessel was third in collegiate and ninth overall.
“This year’s race was an incredible experience, and it was great to see some of the amazing women I met in previous races,” said Falk, who participated in the race twice before in 2008 and 2009 and is now a flight training manager at the Daytona Beach campus and driver of the Embry-Riddle Jet Dragster. “It was an honor to represent Embry-Riddle in such a prestigious event among some of the best women pilots in the world.”
This year’s race began June 19 at Lake Havasu City Airport in Lake Havasu City, Ariz., and took female pilots through eight cities on a 2,681-statute-mile route ending June 22 at Clermont County Airport in Batavia, Ohio.
This was the first Air Race Classic event for Erlichman, a student pursuing a B.S. in aeronautical science and a part-time flight instructor.
“One of the most valuable things was the experience,” Erlichman said. “I learned a lot about mountain flying and about flying over all different types of terrain. And of course, the traveling to all of those different places.”
Prescott team co-pilot and flight instructor Kristine Anthony said, “I am just so excited and proud to represent the Prescott campus.”
Anthony’s co-pilot Marlene Wessel is earning a bachelor’s degree in aeronautical science at the Prescott campus.
“As a first-time racer, I am very happy with our outcome of receiving ninth place overall and third collegiate,” said Wessel, who plans to compete in next year’s Air Race Classic. “It has been an amazing experience, exploring the country and getting to know so many other women pilots. We made our own decisions and are proud of ourselves. Kristine and I had a great time in the cockpit and wouldn’t have done it any other way.”
This year the racers made stops at Gallup Municipal Airport in Gallup, N.M.; Hereford Municipal Airport in Hereford, Texas; Renner Field (Goodland Municipal Airport) in Goodland, Kan.; Columbus Municipal Airport in Columbus, Neb.; Watertown Regional Airport in Watertown, S.D.; John F. Kennedy Memorial Airport in Ashland, Wis.; Chippewa County International Airport in Sault Ste. Marie, Mich.; and Southwest Michigan Regional Airport in Benton Harbor, Mich.
The Embry-Riddle team members were chosen for their piloting skills, competitive spirit and knowledge of aviation, safety, navigation, meteorology and crew resource management. Both teams flew Cessna 172 aircraft from the university’s fleet, equipped with a Garmin G1000 cockpit. Each aircraft was judged against its own handicapped cruising speed, and winning teams followed the route as closely as possible while improving their average speed, a format that focuses more on piloting skills and decision-making than on speed.
The female pilots competed against professional aviators as well as teams from nine other collegiate teams including Jacksonville University, Kansas State University, Liberty University, Louisiana Tech University, Metropolitan State College of Denver and Purdue University.
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.