WMU News

2005 Air Race Classic 'flight log'

June 21, 2005

by Erica Ebenhoeh and Sarah Tower

BARTLESVILLE, Okla.--This morning (June 21), at 0600 Central Daylight Time, Erica and I attended the Takeoff Breakfast. Eighty-plus women gathered in Purdue University's main hangar, we enjoyed a hearty meal and a thorough weather briefing. After the meeting, we all attended to the task of pre-flighting our airplanes.

At 0745, we were instructed to start our engines in groups of eight airplanes. Once the first 20 planes were started, we were cleared to taxi to the runway. One at a time, we were cleared for takeoff. Purdue's dean waved the checkered flag, and we were off.

We flew as fast as possible to the first stop, Winona, Minn. The original route included a stop at La Crosse, Wis., but the FAA did not approve that stop, so the first stop occurred just a few miles north of La Crosse at Winona.

During the first leg of the race, one plane ran out of fuel and was forced to land on an expressway. That left 39 planes in the race at Winona.

After refueling, checking the updated weather and guzzling more water, we departed to the next stop, Beatrice, Neb. Aside from the 80+ degree heat aloft, we had an uneventful flight with a nice tailwind. Finally, our last leg brought us to Bartlesville, Okla. We stopped here for the night. We've had blue skies today and feel confident in our performance so far.

We departed Purdue in Lafayette, Ind., at 0825 and landed in Bartlesville at 1840 covering 957 miles. We are hoping for a safe and successful day tomorrow.

--Sarah Tower

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Media contact: Thom Myers, 269 387-8400, thom.myers@wmich.edu

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