On June 24, OU Aviation students successfully completed the 2011 Women’s Aviation Air Race Classic at Mobile Downtown Airport in Mobile, Alabama. Juniors Robin Torres and Jennifer Scanlon successfully flew 1,230 miles between Alliance, Nebraska and Mobile, Alabama to complete the race.
The Air Race Classic is a cross-country aircraft competition that emphasizes the willingness and capability of women to be safe aircraft pilots, according to ARC literature. Women of all ages from the U.S. and internationally were able to compete in the race, which was shortened in length from 2,700 miles this year due to inclement weather. Fifty two-person pilot teams flew in the race, including students representing eleven universities. Pilots were to follow a set flight path through eight states, with en route stops at airports in six cities. Final place standings were determined by the teams’ ability to closely follow the path while simultaneously improving their rate of speed against their plane’s handicapped cruising speed.
Torres and Scanlon flew in one of OU’s 13 Piper Warrior III single-engine airplanes as Classic Racer 34, placing twelfth and fifth in the Overall and University entrant standings respectively, and first place among first time event flyers.
“Robin and Jennifer were outstanding representatives of our aviation department, the university and the state of Oklahoma in this most prestigious national event,” said Ken Carson, OU Aviation director. “Their finishing in first place of all first time event entrants is a testament to their professionalism, fortitude and aviation knowledge.”
This is the 35th year of the Air Race Classic, which is hosted by Air Race Classic, INC., a nonprofit organization that encourages female participation in aviation and promotes awareness of its history. The University of Oklahoma Aviation Program is an AABI accredited program which offers Bachelor of Science degrees in Aviation in specialized areas including professional pilot, aviation management, non-flying aviation management and air traffic management. A member of the University Aviation Association, OU Aviation utilizes an air fleet of newly purchased aircraft that includes the Piper PA-28-161 Warrior, offering students hands-on out-of-classroom flight-training.
Further information on OU Aviation can be found at aviation.ou.edu.