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Kent State University team wins Air Race Classic

A team representing Kent State University piloting a Cessna 172 Skyhawk was the first place winner of the all-women Air Race Classic, which concluded on June 24.

The 'Flying Flashes' of Kent State University in Ohio beat their handicap by the greater margin than 39 rivals in the 2022 Air Race Classic. Photo by David Tulis.

More than 40 teams launched from Lakeland Linder International Airport in Lakeland, Florida, on June 21 and completed a 2,500-nautical-mile route that took them through Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, Arkansas, Oklahoma, Kansas, Illinois, and Tennessee, before concluding at Terre Haute Regional Airport in Indiana. All teams that launched completed the race.

Laura Wilson and Alex Johnson, making up team Flying Flashes representing Kent State University in Kent, Ohio, took the overall top prize for beating their handicap by the greatest margin, which allows airplanes with different horsepower to compete on a level playing field. The course is flown in VFR conditions during daylight. Teams take weather, wind, terrain, and airplane performance into account when calculating race strategies in the highly competitive event.

Coming in second was team Birds of Paragon: Katie Truedson, Cassie Thompson-Pride, and Connie Leege, flying a Piper Archer PA–28-181. Third place was team Comanch-me If You Can, flown by Ashley Zook and Elisabeth Millspaugh in a Piper Comanche PA–24-250.

The 2023 Air Race Classic will take place June 20 through 23. The starting point will be Grand Forks International Airport in Grand Forks, North Dakota, home of the University of North Dakota’s John D. Odegard School of Aerospace Sciences. The terminus will be Miami Homestead General Aviation Airport in Homestead, Florida.

Jill W. Tallman

Jill W. Tallman

AOPA Technical Editor
AOPA Technical Editor Jill W. Tallman is an instrument-rated private pilot who is part-owner of a Cessna 182Q.

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