WMU News

2003 Air Race Classic 'flight log'

by Amanda Gruden and Michelle Glisan

June 20, 2003

PRATT, Kan -- This is the final day before the start of the race. We had a 7 a.m. breakfast down the road and then a full morning of meetings.

We had a safety meeting, a WINGS seminar, which can count for an update on our licenses, and briefings for the different airports and how to do the fly-bys. Each airport has a different fly-by, because of how the airport layout is set up. The fly-bys are used only during the race and are used for timing purposes. Timing lines are set up for each airport, and we fly over a specific spot on the airport to be timed. Then we come back around to land.

Each leg of the race is timed and the times are added together and averaged. The team with the score highest above their handicap wins. So we are hoping we have lots of good tail winds to push us ahead faster.

After our morning of meetings, we broke for lunch and then headed to the airport. We waxed the plane to make the leading edges nice and smooth to cut through the air faster.

The FAA weather service came out to brief us on the weather for tomorrow. At this point, we're looking at storms in the morning, but good tail winds after that. Hopefully the storms clear, and we can start across the country.

Tonight we have been studying our charts to make sure we are as accurate as we can be. Our "Mama Birds"--a more experienced race team--have been helping us and giving us some tips, and we had dinner with them tonight.

It is an even earlier wakeup call tomorrow... 4:30 a.m.

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

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