WMU News

WMU aviators return today from Air Race Classic

June 26, 2000

BATTLE CREEK, Mich. -- Jennifer Richard and Jo-Elle Warner will return to WMU's College of Aviation today after completing the college's first ever run in the Air Race Classic June 20-23.

The pair will touch down at Battle Creek's W.K. Kellogg Airport between 2 and 3 p.m. today.

The duo, flying a Mooney Ovation, finished in the bottom tier of competitors in the race, which went from Tucson, Ariz., to Hyannis, Mass., but they attracted a significant amount of attention for the college. Because no plane of this type has ever competed in the race before, part of their role was to establish a handicap upon which to base future competitors' flights in the same kind of plane.

"Our flyers did a wonderful job and clearly had the support of the race committee throughout the race," says Dr. Richard Wright, dean of the College of Aviation, who was in Hyannis for the finish of the race and the Sunday evening awards banquet. "It was a great experience for Jen and Jo-Elle and resulted in great visibility for the college.

Wright says race organizers have committed to visiting WMU in the coming year to fly the college's Mooney Ovations over a six-mile course and help determine a more realistic handicap for the plane. Wright says WMU is committed to participating in the race in the future.

The WMU team was one of three college-sponsored teams to compete in this year's race. The other two were from Purdue Univeristy and Daniel Webster College in New Hampshire.

Media contact: Cheryl Roland, 616 387-8400, cheryl.roland@wmich.edu

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