News From Terre Haute, Indiana

Local & Bistate

June 29, 2009

ISU team flies to second at all-women Air Race Classic

TERRE HAUTE — As the small single-engine airplane touched down on a windy Monday at Terre Haute International Airport-Hulman Field, Indiana State University aviation team members Jessica L. Campbell and Victoria Dunbar were quick to pull out their winning trophy.

The two-person ISU team took top collegiate honors and finished second overall in the all-women 2009 Air Race Classic, which spanned a 2,359-nautical-mile course.

“We’re pretty excited and couldn’t be happier. We won the college [trophy], and that is what we were really aiming for,” Campbell said shortly after exiting the plane.

The team also won $3,000 for its finish.

More than 30 teams completed the four-day race, which started June 23 and ended Friday in Atlantic, Iowa. The ISU team flew back Monday from Iowa.

“There are good pilots in this, with three international pilots, so we were up against some pretty darn good ladies who know how to fly,” said Tad Foster, dean of ISU’s School of Technology, who flew back with Campbell and Dunbar. “The winning team was just 0.933 ahead of us, so just one point separated first and second place.”

First place went to Kelly Burris, an attorney from Michigan, and Erin Recke, a flying partner who learned to fly at Western Michigan College.

The race had seven collegiate teams, two from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, which was last year’s winner; two teams from the University of Oklahoma; and one team each from Purdue University; Kansas State University; and ISU.

Campbell, 21, is an ISU senior in aviation from Grandview, and is captain of the flight team. Dunbar, 32, is an instructor of aviation technology at ISU.

The team flew a four-seat, newer-technology glass cockpit Diamond DA40 airplane, owned by Dixie Chopper Air, based at the Putnam County Airport. The plane can reach an altitude of 16,400 feet, but because of strong winds, the ISU pilots flew between 1,000, the lowest level allowed, and 3,000 feet above ground level.

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