Glen Mills Aviator Lauren Heisey Preps for 2,500-Mile Air Race

Melissa Shrewsbury (left) and Lauren Heisey.
Image via Jane Bellmyer, Cecil Whig.
Melissa Shrewsbury (left) and Lauren Heisey.

Glen Mills pilot Lauren Heisey will fly with Melissa Shrewsbury in the Air Race Classic, writes Jane Bellmyer for Cecil Whig.

This June 21-24 race for women aviators has been taking place for 45 years, starting as the Women’s Air Derby in 1929, with Amelia Earhart one of its first competitors.

It was The Powder Puff Derby after World War II until it became the Air Race Classic after 1976.

The two women will race over 2,500 miles from Lakeland, Florida to Terre Haute, Ind. in a Cessna 172M Bicentennial, hoping to beat out 51 other flying teams with the best time over four days of flying.

The plane was once owned by Kay Blevins, who raced it in the final Powder Puff Derby in 1976.

“She would love for us to take her and her husband for a ride … get her back in her plane,” Shrewsbury said. “The love she has for the plane is real.”

As rookies, the two don’t expect to win.

 “What we’re doing is a challenge but also an honor,” Shrewsbury said. They hope to show more girls and women that flying is a possibility.

Read more at Cecil Whig about the flight of Lauren Heisey and Melissa Shrewsbury.

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