The View from Here

Birds of Paragon Set to Soar in 2023 All-Female, Cross-Country Air Race Classic

The Birds of Paragon are back! This year’s Paragon Flight team is comprised of Paragon Flight CFI Lauren Ramage (pilot/captain) and Paragon Flight students Jen Adams (co-pilot) and Gina Willaford (team member). They’ll take to the skies to compete in the 46th annual Air Race Classic (ARC) June 20–23. The ARC is an all-female cross-country air race that tests pilots’ skills over four days through changing terrain, weather, winds and airspace. The Birds of Paragon, supported not only by Paragon Flight but also – new this year – Piedmont Airlines, will vie for the top spot in a Paragon Flight-owned Piper against 44 teams covering approximately 2,300 nautical miles from Grand Forks, North Dakota, to Homestead, Florida, with eight stops in between.

This is year two for Paragon Flight’s participation in the ARC and Lauren, Gina and Jennifer have a tough – but not impossible – act to follow. That’s because Last year’s first ever Birds of Paragon team, Connie Hite, Katie Truedson and Cassie Thompson-Pride, took second place overall – with no penalties – and had the distinction of being the fastest Piper aircraft in the 2022 Air Race Classic. I love this quote from Lauren Ramage in giving a nod to the 2022 team because it really captures the spirit of collegiality that thrives here at Paragon Flight.

“Our fellow pilots from Paragon Flight set the stage last year in forming the Birds of Paragon, and my team and I are excited to continue the legacy of female air racing through ARC – and now, Paragon Flight.”

We are thrilled to do our part in sponsoring another Birds of Paragon team of exceptional women pilots. Their passion for flight and unrelenting efforts in preparing for the Air Race Classic serve as an example to other women and girls on the career possibilities waiting for them in the wonderful world of aviation.

In addition to Piedmont Airlines, I salute the other sponsors helping to again create a winning Birds of Paragon Team. To date, they are: Florida International Airshow, Flight Ninja, Lycoming, Flight Club 502, CapAir, Page Field Base Operations, STS Properties, Anytime Fitness, 5 Day Plantation Shutters, Power Stroke Performance, My Shower Door, Gulf Coast Smiles, Viruet Periodontics, Restore Medical Partners, PRMG Dream Home Lending Team, Sweet Dreams Anesthesia, First Service, and Fort Rock.

Follow our website and social media to keep up with the 2023 Birds of Paragon. We’re rooting for you, Lauren, Jen and Gina!