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Prescott ERAU Lady Pilots Soar to the Top at the Air Race Classic
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27 June 2017   Jason Kadah

Embry-Riddle Prescott Female Pilots Secure Top Collegiate Spots and No. 2 and No. 5 Overall in Women’s Air Race Classic

Two Teams’ Finishes Are Best in History of Arizona Campus Participating in Historic Event

PRESCOTT, Ariz. -- Four female pilots representing Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University’s Prescott, Ariz., Campus not only swept the top two spots in the collegiate competition but also placed second and fifth overall among more than 100 flyers in the cross-country 2017 Women’s Air Race Classic (ARC).

The No. 1 finish by Rachel Hutzell and Rebecca (Becca) Dooling of Team Gurley Girls and the No. 2 position by Jennifer (Jenn) Lowe and Hannah Burright of Team Granite Eagles in the collegiate competition against other universities with aviation programs such as University of North Dakota, Purdue and Liberty in addition to the Gurley Girls’ No. 2 and Granite Eagles’ No. 5 finish overall marks the highest finishes in Embry-Riddle Prescott Campus’ eight-year history of competing.

“We could not be more proud of the professionalism, dedication and skill with which our teams flew this historic race and earned the victory. It speaks to Embry-Riddle's commitment to excellence and the mature and confident young people who take up these challenges,” said Embry-Riddle Prescott Chancellor Dr. Frank Ayers. “For the Arizona campus, this achievement – coming on the heels of our Golden Eagles Flight Team's 11th national championship – speaks volumes about the quality of our flight education programs.”

A total of three teams, consisting of two female student pilots and flight instructors each, represented Embry-Riddle’s residential campuses in Prescott and Daytona Beach, Fla., in the more than 2,600-mile air trek that started June 20 in Frederick, Md., and ended June 23 in Santa Fe, N.M., in an air race that traces its roots back to Amelia Earhart.

“We are very proud of the young women who represented Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University with such a high level of professionalism and skill in the Air Race Classic,” said Embry-Riddle President Dr. P. Barry Butler. “I know they have been preparing for the race all year. Their level of preparation was apparent in the piloting skills and teamwork demonstrated at the race.”

What began in 1929 as the Women's Air Derby is today a women-only race testing piloting skill and aviation decision-making for female pilots of all ages and from all walks of life including university students, commercial airline pilots, former military and aviation enthusiasts. The competition consists of a handicap specific to each plane so teams race against their own best time rather than each other.

The women were selected for this prestigious competition by Embry-Riddle College of Aviation administrators from each campus on the basis of their piloting skills, their competitive spirit and their knowledge of aviation, safety, navigation, meteorology and crew resource management. All Embry-Riddle teams flew Cessna 172 aircraft from the university’s fleet.

“The highlight of the race for me was this amazing opportunity to meet so many other women pilots—I met pilots from 18 to 80 years old and it was great to meet so many women with a common interest but with different backgrounds and different stories to tell,” said Embry-Riddle pilot Jenn Lowe.

For official results and details on this year’s route, go to airraceclassic.org. To read the previous news release with bios of the racers, go to news.erau.edu/headlines/female-pilots-to-compete-in-historic-womens-air-race-classic/.

About Embry-Riddle Aeronautical 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 80 baccalaureate, master’s and Ph.D. degree programs in its colleges of Arts & Sciences, Aviation, Business, Engineering and Security & Intelligence. Embry-Riddle educates students at residential campuses in Daytona Beach, Fla., and Prescott, Ariz., through the Worldwide Campus with more than 125 locations in the United States, Europe, Asia and the Middle East, and through online programs. 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 www.embryriddle.edu, follow us on Twitter (@EmbryRiddle) and facebook.com/EmbryRiddleUniversity, and find expert videos at YouTube.com/EmbryRiddleUniv.

About The Air Race Classic

Air Race Classic Inc. is an all-volunteer, nonprofit 501(c)3 organization with a mission of encouraging and educating current and future female pilots, increasing public awareness of general aviation, demonstrating women's roles in aviation, and preserving and promoting the tradition of pioneering women in aviation. For more information, go to airraceclassic.org.