Journal of Aviation/Aerospace Education & Research





Key words

air racing, aviation weather, weather forecasting, interdisciplinary, service learning, experiential learning


The Air Race Classic (ARC) is an all-female Visual Flight Rules air race held each June. Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University Daytona Beach (ERAU-DB) has had primarily student race teams participate and frequently place strongly in the ARC since 1996. The ERAU-DB Meteorology Program has provided successful weather support to ERAU-DB race team(s) for the past decade, including as the terminus host institution in 2016. In 2014, the weather support was formalized as a three-credit interdisciplinary summer course, incorporating a mix of aeronautical science (pilot), dispatch, and meteorology students. Using concepts of service and experiential learning, the ARC course has successfully integrated students from varying educational backgrounds into cohesive weather support teams that serve the ERAU-DB air racers. As such, students from primarily aviation backgrounds have had to learn about aviation weather support tools and techniques they were not previously aware of, while students from primarily meteorological backgrounds had to integrate aviation concepts such as fuel burn and service ceiling into their forecasts. The ARC weather support experience has helped to expose students to real-world situations and decision-making, given them an increased sense of purpose and service to the ERAU-DB community, and improved their ability to combine aviation and meteorological thinking for the purpose of real-time aviation weather forecasting.

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