Purdue student pilots win all-women cross-country air race

June 28, 2010

Purdue Air Race Classic Team co-pilot Allison Springer contemplates the journey ahead.  (Purdue University News Service photo/Jim Schenke)

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WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — Two Purdue University undergrads won the collegiate division of the all-women Air Race Classic, a 2,500-mile race created by Amelia Earhart and cohorts when women weren't allowed to race men.

Captain Lauren Steele, from Lapel, Ind., and copilot Allison Springer, from Madison, Wis., were scheduled to return to the Purdue University Airport on Monday (June 28) but severe weather in Ohio could delay their arrival until Tuesday (June 29).

Purdue defeated 10 other collegiate teams and finished fourth overall in a field of 55 teams from around the world, many with pilots who have been flying for decades. A student ground-control team helped avoid bad weather and find tailwinds to push the team's small Piper Warrior III to the maximum of its capabilities. The race began June 22 in Ft. Myers, Fla., and took a horseshoe path through the Midwest that concluded three days later in Frederick, Md.

Steele will attend graduate school at Purdue before pursuing a career as a commercial or mission pilot. Springer is scheduled to return to Purdue in the fall as a senior and to the Air Race Classic team next summer.

More information about the team is available at https://www.purdue.edu/newsroom/students/2010/100617AirRaceClassic.html, on the Facebook Purdue Air Race Team page at http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=133355026677346&ref=tsA, or on a YouTube video at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lr3ZSPgQDQI  

Purdue Air Race Classic Team captain Lauren Steele piloted to a first-place finish in the collegiate division of the 2,500-mile, all-women race started by Amelia Earhart and cohorts. (Purdue University News Service photo/Jim Schenke)

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For more information about the Air Race Classic, visit http://www.airraceclassic.org/

Writer: Jim Schenke, 765-237-7296, 765-494-6262, jschenke@purdue.edu

Sources:   Lauren Steele, 765-639-1919, steelel@purdue.edu

                   Allison Springer, agspring@purdue.edu

Note to Journalists: Broadcast-quality B-Roll, sound bites, and package of the Purdue team departing for the race can be downloaded from ftp://news69.uns.purdue/Public/Air Race Classic 2010. A slide show and additional publication-quality photographs also are available at that location. For more information, contact Jim Schenke, Purdue News Service, at 765- 237-7296, 765-494-6262 or jschenke@purdue.edu.

Related Web sites:
Purdue Air Race Team 2010

Purdue Aviation Technology