Embry-Riddle Pilots Sweep Top Lady Air Race Honors

Nearly two dozen ERAU-related pilots took part in this year’s classic.

Riddle Racers
ERAU's Abbie Pasmore, left, and Emmy Dillon prepare to take off and begin the Air Race Classic in Prescott, Arizona.Embry-Riddle

Two female pilots from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University’s (ERAU) Daytona Beach campus, Emmy Dillon and Abbie Pasmore, last week snagged first-place honors in the collegiate division of the annual all-female Air Race Classic. This year marks the fourth in recent history that ERAU pilots have taken the top collegiate division honors. The 2,716-mile competition crisscrossed much of the United States over the course of four days before ending on June 24 at Daytona Beach International Airport. Three other ERAU teams of two, including members of Daytona Beach engineering staff, also finished the race. All university entrants flew a Cessna 172 from ERAU’s training fleet.

In all, 50 teams began the race that this year coincided with ERAU’s 20th anniversary of sponsoring both the start and terminus portions of the classic over the same route when they departed Prescott, Arizona, for Florida. Racers stopped in Albuquerque; Midland and Waco, Texas; Arkadelphia, Arkansas; Warrensburg, Missouri; Champaign/Urbana, Illinois; Murfreesboro, Tennessee; and Americus Georgia, before arriving at Daytona.

Nearly two dozen female pilots with some connection to ERAU, as alums, former faculty and current students, participated in this year’s race. They include Sarah Wendt and Sojung An from Daytona Beach, Hannah Rooney, Rachel Hutzell, Shelby King and Hannah Burright from the Prescott campus. Independent division Daytona Beach pilots included Naiara Petralanda and Virginie Rollin from ERAU’s College of Engineering.

Next year’s Air Race Classic begins June 20, 2017, from an as yet unannounced location.