WMU News

2001 Air Race Classic 'flight log'

June 29, 2001

BATTLE CREEK, Mich. -- Jo-Elle Warner, a flight instructor in WMU's College of Aviation, and Michelle Homister, an April aviation graduate, competed against more than 30 teams from around the nation in the 2001 Air Race Classic, June 26-30, beginning in San Diego. The race was originally slated to conclude four days and more than 2,200 miles later at Sporty's Airport in Batavia, Ohio, but because of severe weather along the end of the race route, the race was halted after about 1,500 miles, or about two-thirds of the original course, in Pratt, Kan.

Below are reports from the two WMU aviators, beginning with their cross-country flight from Battle Creek to San Diego the week before the race. Click on the date for the complete report.

June 28, Batavia, Ohio -- "Due to bad weather along the rest of the race route, the race was "called" in Pratt, Kan. The deadline to get to Batavia is still 5 p.m. on Friday, but race teams can take any route and even fly in instrument meteorological conditions or at night. We chose to go all the way to Batavia today.

June 27, Pratt, Kan. -- "Grounded! We were at the airport at 0630 with the plane ready to go. No go due to a stagnant low pressure trough...and level 4 thunderstorms."

June 26, Pratt, Kan. -- "The departure from San Diego went very well. We flew non-stop [the] first three legs."

June 25, San Diego -- "The race begins tomorrow...the weather will be the most influential factor determining how far we get each day."

June 22, San Diego -- "The Air Race Board and the local Ninety-Nines welcomed us... We then got checked in to the Doubletree Hotel in San Diego and officially registered for the race."

June 21, Phoenix -- "We were greeted at Ragsdale Executive Terminal by many WMU alumni and friends."

June 20, Fort Sumner, N.M. -- "Thanks to Mary Creason, veteran air racer [and WMU alumna] of Grand Haven, Mich., we have oxygen available to us for use at the high altitudes."

June 19, Fayetteville, Tenn. -- "We left Battle Creek at 5:30 p.m. We are flying the course backwards for a heads up."

Media contact: Cheryl Roland, 616 387-8400, cheryl.roland@wmich.edu

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