Purdue University will be represented by two teams competing for a title in this year’s Air Race Classic. The event is the only women’s air race in the nation.
The Purdue participants are part of an estimated seven percent of female certified pilots.
This is the third consecutive year multiple Purdue teams have entered the race. Purdue has been represented by a team in the Air Race Classic for more than two decades.
The cross-country event is not a standard race to the finish. Every plane is given a “unique time handicap” before the competition. The team that overcomes its handicap by the largest margin wins.
“You feel so competitive, but then you enjoy being in the sky and flying,” Cathy Troyer, a recent Purdue graduate and pilot, said. “It’s a mixture of wanting to win and wanting to enjoy it as you go along.”
This year’s race has 51 teams competing, with 113 pilots from the United States and around the world.
The competition is June 18-21 and the course runs a total of 2,538 miles with a route chosen to challenge the racers.
“We’re all in this together. We’re all females in the aviation industry, so it’s comforting to see so many female pilots joining us in the race.” Troyer said.