Air Race Classic Competition 2019
We are overwhelmed with the outpouring of support for our upcoming race! Please keep us in your prayers as we enter this busy season with race preparations, graduation, and flying the race.
Additional support raised will go to support our team's racing efforts in 2020 and beyond!
What is the Women's Air Race Team?
The LeTourneau Aviation Women's Air Race Team exists to showcase who we are at LeTourneau University and our exceptional flight training program! LeTourneau University has entered the Air Race Classic in two previous races, in 2015 and 2017. The goal of this year's team is to place in the top 30% of approximately 50 teams entering the race and within the top 10 of the collegiate division. We also want to build upon the foundation of what we have learned in the past races we have entered. We will fly a 2017 Cessna 172S Skyhawk in this year's race. The Skyhawk is very reliable, loaded with electronics to help our navigation and weather monitoring, and a great overall cross-country airplane.
What is the Air Race Classic?
The Air Race Classic is an annual all women’s air race approximately 2,400 miles in length. The competition objective is to fly the “perfect cross country.” Each aircraft is given a “handicap” groundspeed. The contestants who beat their personal handicap by the largest margin win the race. This year's race goes through the following cities, in order:
- Jackson, TN (KMKL)
- LaGrange, GA (KLGC)
- Hattiesburg, MS (KHBG)
- Bryant, AR (KSUZ)
- Lee's Summit, MO (KLXT)
- Fairmont, MN (KFRM)
- Wausau, WI (KAUW)
- Sault Ste. Marie, ON (CYAM)
- North Bay, ON (CYYB)
- Brantford, ON (CYFD)
- Welland, ON (CNQ3)
That's right, we are going to Canada!
Who are the team members?
Erica Swenson (President & racer) - Erica Swenson is a Junior Flight Student at LeTourneau University. She is originally from Rockford, IL and attended high school in McKinney Texas. She has worked on the LeTourneau campus at the University Development Office and at the Student Center. Erica is a member of the LETU STING Precision Flight Team and is the team’s Financial Officer. She currently holds her Commercial Single engine and Multiengine Certificate with an instrument rating. She is working on her Flight Instructor Certificate and plans to work for LETU as an Envoy Airlines Cadet Flight Instructor in the near future.
Meyeon (Cecilia) Kim (Vice President & racer) – Cecilia Kim is an international student from Fiji. She was born in Korea, and her family emigrated to Fiji when she was 8. Cecilia is a 2018 graduate of LeTourneau University, and she is currently training to become a Flight Instructor for LeTourneau University. Cecilia loves to volunteer for Girls in Aviation Day and Women in Aviation International, and she will continue to be involved as long as she can while studying and working in the United States. Cecilia was an assistant manager for the Office of Global Initiatives until she graduated. She researched logistics for participation in the 2019 Air Race Classic and is now working as an intern for the College of Aviation.
Claire Cassel (Coach) – Claire Cassel is a senior Missions Aviation major at LeTourneau, from Hobe Sound, Florida. She has worked as a student dispatcher, a supplemental instructor for instrument ground school, and serves as a Safety Intern for the LETU Aviation Department. Claire was an auxiliary member of the 2016 team and observed the race, and is excited to help this year’s team succeed. She is an LETU Flight Instructor, and is working toward her Airframe and Powerplant aircraft mechanic license. She plans to continue to work for LeTourneau as a Flight Instructor after graduation and is getting married in May.
Laura Laster (Faculty Adviser & racer) – Laura Laster is a 2004 graduate of LeTourneau University who has worked as a flight instructor, dispatcher, survey pilot, and operations manager at Dynamic Aviation and at LeTourneau University. A native of Oshkosh, Wisconsin, Laura is married and has two children, ages 9 and 5. She is currently the Director of Flight Operations for LETU and is working on her Master’s degree in Commercial Aviation, finishing in December 2019. She also teaches in the University’s Aircraft Dispatcher certification course. She is excited to mentor the LeTourneau University Women’s Air Race Team in the 2019 Air Race Classic.
How can I follow along with the team?
Please follow us on Facebook for racing updates and more information about our progress toward this year's Air Race Classic! https://www.facebook.com/pg/LETUAirRace/