Cirrus Offers SR22 to Air Race Team
As part of its efforts to increase awareness of women in general aviation, Cirrus Aircraft will equip "Racing Aces" team pilot Dianna Stanger, copilot Joyce Wilson and teammate Erin Cude with an SR22 to take on the 38th annual Air Race Classic in June. One of the longest continually operating air races in the world, the Air Race Classic is a four-day, segmented dash across the United States. It has long promoted current and future women pilots while increasing public knowledge of general aviation. Stanger was named the 2012 and 2014 "Most Dedicated Female Pilot Worldwide" by Women of Aviation Worldwide, and won the Air Race Classic with her copilot in 2012. The Air Race Classic continues in the “Run What Your Brung” tradition of putting contestants on an even playing field — the fastest airplane may or may not win — what matters is having the fastest ground speed versus assigned handicap speed for the type of airplane. Contestants are given four days, flying in daylight hours, to reach their destination, with the winner determined by having an actual ground speed as far over an assigned handicap speed as possible, as opposed to simply reaching the destination first. The nonprofit Air Race Classic will be held June 16-19 and on a 2,307-mile course from Concord, Calif., to New Cumberland, Pa.
Cirrus will also help select the 2014 winner of the Racing Aces Scholarship, an annual $5,000 scholarship given to a young woman interested in aviation. “Only seven percent of all pilots are women, and we’re hoping that initiatives like the Air Race Classic — which encourages women pilots from across the world to come out and hone their flying skills in a spirit of camaraderie — will help the general aviation industry nudge that number upward,” said Dale Klapmeier, co-founder and chief executive officer of Cirrus Aircraft, in a press release. “We’re excited to play a small role in this endeavor by exposing women pilots to our aircraft that are technologically advanced yet easy and safe to fly, and of course, also by promoting a scholarship that helps women take the steps needed to pursue their dream of flying.”
Stanger started the Racing Aces Scholarship in 2012 on behalf of her team to support women seeking a career in aviation. Each applicant will be reviewed for eligibility by an independent panel. A second panel of judges consisting of The Racing Aces and Cirrus Aircraft members will review qualified applicants. The 2014 scholarship winner will be announced in November 2014 and honored at a celebratory event.