Flying Flashes Earn Back-to-Back First-Place Wins

Kent State pilots defended their team's titles in the 2023 Air Race Classic

Brian Neff, assistant dean of flight and operations within Kent State University's College of Aeronautics and Engineering, has exciting news to share about the Kent State Flying Flashes, Peyton Turner and Laura Wilson and the 2023 Air Race Classic: a first-place finish.

"The two pilots completed the four-day, 2,685-mile, all-female race with the best score to win the overall, collegiate, fastest Cessna, and fastest WAI (Women in Aviation International) team competitions," Neff said.

Flying Flashes 2023 Air Race Winners

Junior Peyton Turner (left) and 2022 graduate Laura Wilson (right)

The 2023 Flying Flashes team won:
First place overall Competition Class
First place overall Collegiate Challenge Award
First Place overall Fastest Cessna Award
First place overall Fastest WAI Team (Women In Aviation International organization)


Laura Wilson, BS ’22, was half of the Kent State Flying Flashes team that competed in the 2022 Air Race. Wilson and alumna Alex Johnson, BS ’21, won the overall race as well as first place for fastest Cessna and first place in the Collegiate Challenge. For this race, Wilson's co-pilot was junior flight technology major Peyton Turner. 

The Kent State team competed against 43 other teams from across the country.

Flying Flashes 2023 Air Race Winners

Neff congratulated the pilots and said that plans to announce this achievement will be shared via the College of Aeronautics and Engineering's Facebook, Instagram and Twitter accounts. 

POSTED: Monday, June 26, 2023 02:08 PM
Updated: Monday, June 26, 2023 04:10 PM
Phil B. Soencksen