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Minnesota State University, Mankato
Minnesota State University, Mankato


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The Wright Women

Educate Magazine-Summer 2016


Instructors in the Department of Aviation encouraged women students to consider participating in the Air Race Classic as a way to demonstrate to girls that aviation is a viable career for women. Amy Dahlheimer was interested immediately. "I thought it was a great idea. I love a challenge and I thought it would be a good bonding experience for the women in our department," she said.

Teammate Jessica Adams agreed, “I love a new challenge and this was different and sounded fun!”

Over four days, the “Wright Women” competed in a race covering approximately 2,400 miles in a Piper Warrior PA-28-161 on loan from North Star Aviation. Adams and Dahlheimer acted as co-pilots while Hensley and Rachko served as the ground team. The route began in Prescott, Arizona, shifted north to Champaign, Illinois and ended in Daytona Beach, Florida.

"During the competition, we became better pilots and better team mates, which will serve us well in the future," said Dahlheimer. "My favorite thing was meeting the other women in the competition. Although it was a race, it was a very supportive environment."

Adams especially appreciated the support of her friends and family over the course of the competition. “My favorite part of the whole race was crossing the finish line and flying into Daytona Beach where my family was waiting to congratulate us.”

The Minnesota State Mankato aviation students hope to make participation in the Air Race Classic an annual event for Minnesota State Mankato women’s aviation students. Rachko and Hensley plan to fly in the 2017 race, recruiting two new team members to serve on the ground team.

Compass Airlines provided the 2016 Minnesota State Mankato team with $4,000 in sponsorship. To help support future racers, contact Kristen Dulas, director of development at (507) 389-1381.


Air Race Classic 
Student Pilots to Race Across Country  Mankato Free Press Article
Four MSU Women to Compete in National Air Race  KEYC Story 


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