Celebrating Kent State's Air Race Classic Winners and Flight Instructor of the Year

Event held at Kent State University Airport to recognize award-winning female aviators

The College of Aeronautics and Engineering gathered to celebrate victories by Flying Flashes Peyton Turner and Laura Wilson, who won the 2023 Air Race Classic and Holly Csaszar, 2023 Certified Flight Instructor of the Year at the National Intercollegiate Flying Association’s SAFECON competition in May. 

This is the second year in a row that the Flying Flashes have won the Air Race Classic and the Certified Flight Instructor of the Year awards. One of Kent State's female students also won last year’s flight instructor competition. Unlike the Air Race Classic, this competition is not restricted to female competitors. 

Turner and Wilson competed as team No. 52 in the four-day, 2,685-mile, all-women pilot race. They finished the race with the best score to win the overall, collegiate, fastest Cessna and fastest Women in Aviation International team competitions. 

The celebration, which was held at the Kent State University Airport was attended by Kent State President Todd Diacon, Senior Vice President and Provost Melody Tankersley, Ohio State Rep. Casey Weinstein of the 34th District and other legislative representatives, parents and members of the community. 

Kent State President Todd Diacon celebrated the win of Flying Flashes Laura Wilson and Peyton Turner

Weinstein, who is part of the Ohio House of Representatives' Aviation and Aerospace Technology Committee, said his favorite part of serving in the legislature is recognizing the amazing accomplishments of people in his district. He said Ohio is the No. 2 aviation state in the U.S. from an economic perspective. Weinstein presented Wilson, Turner and Csaszar with the 34th District coin.  

“When we say we’re the best we can actually back it up,” said Kent State President Todd Diacon. “It’s these kinds of accomplishments that tell the world who we are as an institution. You not only succeed in what you’re doing, but you represent the university so well.”  

CAE Dean Christina Bloebaum and Assistant Dean Brian Neff celebrate Holly Cesaszar's win

The Flying Flashes team No. 52 competed against 43 other teams from across the country, starting the Air Race Classic in Grand Forks, North Dakota, and ending in Homestead, Florida.  

Turner is a junior aeronautics major from Chicora, Pennsylvania, and Wilson, of New Richmond, Ohio, is a 2022 Kent State graduate who currently serves as a certified flight instructor at the Kent State University Airport. Wilson was one half of the reigning team that won last year’s Air Race Classic. 

Csaszar of Webster, New York, graduated from Kent State in May 2023 and now serves as a certified flight instructor at the Kent State University Airport. 

Learn more about the College of Aeronautics and Engineering.   

POSTED: Thursday, July 20, 2023 04:40 PM
Updated: Monday, July 31, 2023 09:48 AM
April McClellan-Copeland