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Press Release

MSU Denver Pilots Compete in National Women’s Air Race Classic

Contact: Tim Carroll, Office 303-556-5136, Cell 303-870-7705

Posted: June 12, 2013

WHAT:MSU Denver Assistant Professor of Aviation and Aerospace Science Tanya Gatlin and aviation student Daily Davies are participating in the national women’s Air Race Classic. The race strives to generate awareness

Women's Air Race

Photo courtesy: Lola Photography
as well as growth regarding female roles in an industry that historically limited women from participating.

Women’s air racing started in 1929 with the First Women’s Air Derby. Racing continued through the 1930s and was renewed again after WWII with the All Women’s Transcontinental Air Race (AWTAR), better known as the Powder Puff Derby, until 1977. When the AWTAR was discontinued, Air Race Classic stepped in to continue the tradition of the transcontinental speed competition for women pilots, premiering its race in 2002. Many current women racers sport vintage flight uniforms, embracing the nostalgia of this historic race.

The four-day, cross-country competition spans 2,400 miles. The pilots follow visual flight rules (VFR) in daylight hours to reach each target station. Each aircraft is assigned a handicap speed; the goal is to have the actual ground speed be as far over the handicap speed as possible. Pilots are given the leeway to strategize by holding out for better weather, winds, etc. The object is to fly the “perfect” cross-country flight. With staggered departure times, the official standings cannot be released until the final entrant has crossed the finish line.

WHY:   The Air Race Classic is an opportunity to encourage and educate female pilots about all aspects of aviation, including math and science careers. Gatlin and Davies are hoping to motivate and inspire aspiring female pilots by presenting and promoting the tradition of pioneering women in aviation.  


WHERE: Friday June 14, 2013 – Depart for competition 8-9:30 a.m. (weather dependent)

Boulder Municipal Airport – Journeys Aviation (3335 Airport Rd. Boulder, CO 80301)

The race starts Tuesday, June 18, in Pasco, Wash. and ends in Fayetteville, Ark. on Friday, June 21. Stops include Mountain Home, Idaho; Logan, Utah; Rawlins, Wyo.; Spearfish, S.D.; Brookings, S.D.; Holdrege, Neb.; La Junta, Colo.; and Woodward, Okla.



About Tanya Gatlin

Assistant Professor Tanya Gatlin is head coach of the Precision Flight Team in the Aviation and Aerospace Science Department at Metropolitan State University of Denver. She is the faculty advisor for the MSU Denver State Women in Aviation student chapter as well as the Students for the Exploration and Development of Space student chapter. She is a member of the Technical Advisory Committee for Spaceport Colorado and the Colorado Space Business Roundtable. She serves on the board of directors for the Colorado General Aviation Alliance and is the deputy commander for the Parker Cadet Squadron in Civil Air Patrol. Gatlin holds multiple certifications including flight instructor, private and commercial pilot, all with multi-engine and instrument ratings as well as tail-wheel endorsement. A flight instructor with a passion for both aviation and aerospace, she holds a master’s degree in physics and is currently pursuing her Ph.D. in aviation and aerospace sciences.

About Daily Davies

Daily Davies, 18, is majoring in aviation technology at MSU Denver with an emphasis in professional pilot instruction. She started flying in August of 2012 and expects to complete her instrument rating in June of 2013. Davis aspires to be a commercial pilot flying international routes. She was recently hired by Flights, Inc. as a dispatcher and plans to instruct other eager students after securing her Certified Flight Instructor certificate.




About Metropolitan State University of Denver - Aviation and Aerospace Science Department

MSU Denver has the fifth-largest collegiate aviation program in the country. In 2011, MSU Denver’s Precision Flight Team was awarded the Loening Trophy, the oldest and most prestigious collegiate aviation award given to most outstanding all-around collegiate aviation program in the country. The department owns and operates the Robert K. Mock World Indoor Airport, one of the finest collegiate aviation and aerospace computer and flight simulator training laboratories in the world. Prior to their appointment as professional educators, all department faculty accumulated a wealth of diverse aviation or aerospace career experience. For more information, visit


About Metropolitan State University of Denver

MSU Denver is the leader in transforming the lives of its 23,000 students and communities in Colorado. The University enrolls the highest number of students of color among the state’s four-year colleges. It offers 55 majors and master’s degrees in accounting, teaching and social work and boasts more than 74,800 alumni, the bulk of whom remain in Colorado after graduation.