WMU News

2001 Air Race Classic 'flight log'

by Jo-Elle Warner

June 26, 2001

PRATT, Kan. -- Guess where we are today? Pratt, Kansas!

The departure from San Diego went very well. We launched at about 0845 PDT (we're #26, so we launched after #1-25) and passed everyone on the first leg. We were the first plane to fly the timing lines at Williams, Ariz., Gallup, N.M., and Fort Sumner, N.M. We flew non-stop these first three legs and got out in Fort Sumner to stretch our legs and get fuel. We saw some isolated storm activity in the West but managed to steer clear of them.

Due to the time of day, turbulence, and our long previous leg, we just did the one leg to Pratt out of Fort Sumner. This leg was quite hot and a little bumpy, so we were glad to be on the ground by 5:45 p.m. CDT (two time zones different from our start in San Diego). An hour and a half later, one other plane made it to Pratt (a Cessna 182 RG), so we enjoyed dinner with them and some of the local Ninety-Nines who greeted us here.

We would like to get as far as we can tomorrow, but we won't go into marginal weather conditions. Also, we'd like to depart knowing that we'll have tailwinds, so we'll check the winds and weather in the morning--that's the name of the game. Being fast [having one of the faster planes in the race] gives us this luxury of time.

We look forward to the rest of the race legs and sharing the adventure with you.

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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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