June 24, 2014
By AOPA ePublishing staff
A past winner was among the three members of a team that flew a Cirrus SR22 to victory in the 2014 Air Race Classic, the all-women’s annual cross-country air race held from June 16 to 19.
Dianna Stanger, Joyce Wilson, and Erin Cude finished first of 47 teams to fly the 11-leg, 2,338-nautical-mile race from Buchanan Field in Concord, Calif., to Harrisburg, Pa.’s Capital City Airport. The 2014 race was the thirty-eighth running of the race that traces its history back to the 1929 Powder Puff Derby.
Stanger, a fixed-base operator and airport manager in Calhoun County, Texas, won the 2012 race with co-pilot Victoria Holt. AOPA is a sponsor of the Air Race Classic.
Finishing second overall in 2014 and first in the collegiate category were “Riddle Racers” Valdeta Mehanja and Nancy Snyder of Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University’s Daytona Beach, Fla., campus, flying a Cessna 172S. The team of Kristin Garcia and Marlene Wessel from Embry-Riddle’s Prescott, Ariz., campus finished tenth overall and fourth in the collegiate category.
The winning team of Stanger, Wilson, and Cude flew an SR22 provided by Cirrus, which said it was "doing its part to raise awareness for women in general aviation." Cirrus also was to help select the winner of the 2014 Racing Aces Scholarship, a $5,000 award initiated by Stanger in 2012 and awarded to a young woman in aviation.
Two or more women may participate as race teams in the Air Race Classic, flying normally aspirated piston single- or twin-engine airplanes. Two team members must be pilots, and a third team member may possess a student pilot certificate or better, or a pilot certificate without a current medical certificate, according to the nonprofit Air Race Classic’s website.
Flight test data produce a handicap speed for each aircraft against which its groundspeed is compared. Flying is done in day VFR conditions.
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