Today: May 25 , 2020

Embry-Riddle Female Pilots in Historic Women’s Air Race Classic

18 June 2009   Bill Thompson

Two Embry-Riddle female pilots to particpate in the historical Women's Air Race Classic.


Prescott, Ariz.  June 13, 2009 – Two pilots from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University’s Prescott, Arizona campus will be participating in the historical Women’s Air Race Classic which starts on June 23, 2009.  The race, which has been in existence for over thirty years, covers 2,400 miles and includes stops in ten cities.

The race was originally started in 1929 under the “Powder Puff Derby” name. Even though the name changed, the tradition among female pilots to highlight their determination and tenacity to be respected aviators has kept the tradition alive.  The race continues to stand as a symbol of pride for the friendly competitive spirit and camaraderie that still exist among all female aviators.

Pilots Kim Turrell and Jenna Albrecht were selected to represent the Prescott team supported by alternate pilots Alice Usher and Kristen McTee.  They were selected based on their piloting skills, interest in the event, competitive spirit, and their knowledge of aviation, safety, navigation, meteorology, and crew resource management.

Pilots Turrell and Albrecht will depart from Embry-Riddle’s Flight Line on Thursday, June 18, 2009 to start their journey.  Their goal is to do well in the field of more than 60 pilots competing in the race and fly the fastest cross-country route.   The team will be flying one of Embry-Riddle’s Cessna 172s single engine aircraft with Garmin G1000 cockpit.  All race teams are timed at airport waypoints including three mandatory overnight stopping points.   There are very stringent rules and guidelines for all of the teams to follow.  Each aircraft is judged against its own handicapped cruising speed and the winning teams must follow the route as close as possible while improving the average speed.  This format focuses on the piloting skills and decision making instead of the speed of the aircraft.

withplaneThis year the competition also includes a team from Embry-Riddle’s Daytona Beach, Florida campus.

The race begins at Denver’s Centennial Airport (APA) on Tuesday, June 23, 2009 at 0800 A.M. MDT.

The racers must check into eleven different cities on the 2350 mile route and complete their journey to Atlantic Municipal Airport (AIO) in Atlantic, Iowa by 5:00 P.M. CDT on Friday, June 26, 2009. This year, the racers will stop in Liberal, Kansas - Sweetwater, Texas - Russellville, Arkansas - Grenada, Mississippi - Sparta, Tennessee - Jacksonville, Illinois - and Racine, Wisconsin.

The race supported by Embry-Riddle’s Prescott Arizona campus has also been sponsored by Legend Aviation, Cessna, Garmin, Westwind Aviation, EAA Chapter 658, Jeppesen, San Diego Air & Space Museum as well as numerous community partners.

Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, the world’s largest, fully accredited university specializing in aviation and aerospace, offers more than 30 degree programs in its colleges of Arts and Sciences, Aviation, Business, and Engineering, educating more than 34,000 students annually in undergraduate and graduate programs. Doctoral programs in aviation and in engineering physics are pending approval by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS) for the University to offer programs at the doctoral level. Embry-Riddle educates students at residential campuses in Prescott, Ariz., and Daytona Beach, Fla., through the Worldwide Campus at more than 130 Campus centers in the United States, Europe, Canada, and the Middle East, and through online learning. For more information, visit