WMU News

2002 Air Race Classic 'flight log'

by Michelle Homister

June 17, 2002

SILVER CITY, N.M. -- Greetings from Silver City, N.M. Yes, we made it to the start of the race, and we are now experts at weather avoidance! I believe we had six in-flight course deviations.

In the southwest, we can see storms brewing far off in the distance, so we made the call to Flight Watch and made the deviations accordingly. Enroute [from Austin, Texas] we saw storms ahead and had the option of going north or south to avoid the storms. The northern route took us up into northern Texas and then back down through El Paso and direct to Silver City. The southern route would have taken us five miles from the Mexican border. We didn't feel like exercising our Spanish today, so we decided to take the northern route. Luckily that was the correct decision, and we made it to Silver City safely and out of storm cells.

New Mexico is very sparse... aside from the occasional 7,000-foot mountain peak! So there was not a lot to look at once we approached Silver City.

After a few inspections from the Air Race Committee of our airplane, we loaded up the van, which took us to our hotel, 20 minutes away. The airport is located in the middle of a field across from a field of cows. So, there wasn't a lot to do the past couple days since we arrived except study, study, study.

We had a weekend of banquet dinners, safety meetings and briefings, and local tours.  And of course the most important thing... an airplane wash. We are very excited for the start of the race [tomorrow]. We have one last day to prepare, and then it will be show time!

Michelle and Michelle

P.S. Way to go Redwings!

Return to Air Race Flight Log

Michelle Homister is a flight instructor in College of Aviation and a graduate of the WMU aviation program. She and Michelle Glisan, an aviation flight science major from Byron, Ill., are competing against 39 teams from around the nation in the 2002 Air Race Classic June 18-21. The race route covers more than 2,100 miles from Silver City, N.M., to Chesapeake/Portsmouth, Va.

Media contact: Cheryl Roland, 269 387-8400, cheryl.roland@wmich.edu

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