Open Calendar


skyhaven airport | stop on the air race classic | women aviators | University News

UCM’s Skyhaven Airport to Host Women Aviators as a Stop on the Air Race Classic

By Mike Greife, June 16, 2016

WARRENSBURG, MO – The University of Central Missouri’s Max B. Swisher Skyhaven Airport will play host to women aviators from across the country as it serves as one of seven designated stops for teams participating in the 2016 Air Race Classic June 21-24.

More than 115 aviators in 47 aircraft will be landing at the airport to refuel and continue the race or spend the night in the Warrensburg area before continuing the next day. The race route is approximately 2,300 statute miles in length, with competitors given four days to complete route. Each leg of the race is 280 to 320 statute miles, with stops designated for timing.

Each plane is assigned a “handicap” speed, with the goal of obtaining actual ground speed as far over the handicap speed as possible. The objective is to fly the “perfect” cross country race, with teams developing their own strategies for compensating for factors such as weather and the winds.

The race will start June 21 in Prescott, Ariz., and conclude June 24 in Daytona Beach, Fla. Refueling and timing stops are scheduled for Midland, Texas; Waco, Texas; Arkadelphia, Ark.; Warrensburg; Champaign/Urbana, Ill.; Murfreesboro, Tenn.; and Americus, Ga.

UCM Department of Aviation and Skyhaven personnel, UCM aviation students and volunteers will be on hand to provide refueling, information about area restaurants, and transportation to and information about Warrensburg for those wishing to spend the night before continuing to the next stop.

“UCM is honored to host these brave female aviators as they take part in this historic race that has been a part of American aviation since the days of Amelia Earhart,” said Tony Monetti, UCM assistant dean of aviation and executive director of the Max B. Swisher Skyhaven Airport.“UCM is at the heartland of America, and ARC has chosen to ‘Choose Red’ as their mid-point.Our UCM Aviation team is ready and excited to host them.”

The Air Race Classic began in 1928 as the Women’s Air Derby, which continued into the 1930s. Following World War II, the race was renewed as the All Women’s Transcontinental Air Race, also known as the Powder Puff Derby, and continued until 1977. It then continued as the Air Race Classic, which was reincorporated as a non-profit organization in 2002.

For more information about UCM Aviation, contact the Department of Aviation at 660-543-4969 or visit Learn more about the Air Race Classic at


  • facebook
  • twitter
  • youtube
  • linkedin
  • instagram