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2006 Air Race Classic 'flight log'

June 21, 2006

by Courtney Hedlund and Leslie Treppa

MENOMINEE, Mich.--What a day! We flew 1,341.2 nautical miles and crossed the finish line at Menominee on the second day of the Air Race Classic!

We started our day in Bryan, Texas, which is where we decided to spend the night of the first race day, after what we thought was a lot of flying. We were at the airport ready to go around 6 a.m. The plane was preflighted, and we had our flight plan filed, but unfortunately there where low cloud ceilings at Bryan. Also, our destination had great ceiling, but really poor visibility. We did not take off till 9 a.m. CDT.

There were two other race planes that did their fly-bys and departed immediately after us. They were waiting around for the weather to clear as well. We landed in Bastrop, La., where we were greeted with great southern hospitality but could not enjoy it long because we wanted a speedy turn-around.

After Bastrop, we headed for Ada, Okla. That was a very quick turn-around, as well. There was press at all the stops, and we were interviewed as we rushed around doing our duties. The locals were very excited to see us at all the stops, because we were some of the first few racers that had been through.

From Ada, we took on Lawrence, Kan., but again did not stay long. It was then that we decided that we would head straight for Albert Lea, Minn., and straight on to the finish line at Menominee. We know it is only Wednesday and the race ends on Friday. There is reason to our craziness. It is called a strategy. The wind was in our favor today, so we hopped on that SR-20 and took it to the Upper Peninsula. The winds are not supposed to be so favorable tomorrow and for the rest of the week, with severe storms popping up in the "mitten state" area.

We were tired, but when we decided in Kansas that we were going to press on, we perked right up, and had a blast. When we arrived in Menominee, at 7:45 p.m. CDT, there was only one other team, which had arrived a half hour before us. Both members of that team are 14-year air race veterans, and they also had a good strategy! (Wink.)

The hotels are booked here because of several events in town. Good Samaritans were kind and let the four of us racers stay in their home. We are comfortable and so excited to find out how we did score wise in the race. No matter what, it was an experience of a lifetime, and we envy the women who participate in this event every year.

We will be in touch and let you know how we did with our final score. It has been a long day, well traveled.

--Courtney Hedlund

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

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