WMU News

2001 Air Race Classic 'flight log'

by Jo-Elle Warner

June 21, 2001

PHOENIX -- Warm Arizona greetings from Phoenix!

What a splendid day it's been. We departed Flagstaff around 1100 and arrived into Phoenix Sky Harbor around 1140. We were greeted at Ragsdale Executive Terminal by many WMU alumni and friends. Much thanks to Tom Tallman, Sheryl Sculley, all those who helped with our warm reception, and also those who came out to greet us.

We had a fun lunch at the terminal and then got in the Mooney to taxi to Cutter Aviation where we tied down for the evening. This was the most exciting taxi experience ever (the longest, too: 20 minutes of almost constant movement)! We had "follow me" service which meant that a lead truck did all of the communications with ground control for us. We just had to follow along and look in awe at all the commercial jets taxiing, landing, and departing around us.

We got our racebird safely parked at Cutter and then rode with Tom to the America West facility. Here we were met by Andy Hiller (WMU '89), an engineer for America West, and Nancy Feron who works with the airport Noise Information Office (both also attended our fly-in lunch). Here, we had a great time flying the 757 SIMULATOR and touring the America West facility.

From the airport, Tom got us checked in to our hotel and later picked us up for an incredibly elegant dinner at the Arizona Club. This is a private club on the 37th floor of the Bank One building in downtown Phoenix. From the "sunset room" we viewed a marvelous sunset and then saw a building storm cell to the North.

Tomorrow we are San Diego bound!

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Jo-Elle Warner is a flight instructor in College of Aviation and a graduate of the WMU aviation program. She and Michelle Homister, an April aviation graduate, are competing against more than 30 teams from around the nation in the 2001 Air Race Classic, June 26-30, beginning in San Diego and concluding four days and more than 2,200 miles later at Sporty's Airport in Batavia, Ohio.

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

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