WMU News

2003 Air Race Classic 'flight log'

June 24, 2003

BATTLE CREEK, Mich. -- Michelle Glisan, an April 2003 graduate of Western Michigan University's aviation flight science program, and Amanda J. Gruden, lead flight instructor for WMU's College of Aviation and a 2000 graduate of the aviation program, are competing against 35 other all-women teams from around the nation in the 2003 Air Race Classic June 21-24. The race route covers nearly 2,200 miles from Pratt, Kan., to Manteo, N.C.

This is the fourth consecutive year WMU aviators have entered the event that first was held in 1929 as the Women's Air Derby. The race will conclude this year with a celebration of the centennial of flight, as competitors complete a final fly-by of the Kitty Hawk, N.C., site where the Wright brothers' first flight took place. Following the fly-by, competing pilots will head for the finish line at nearby Manteo airport. The event's concluding banquet June 26 will take place at the Wright Brothers National Memorial at Kitty Hawk.

Below are reports from the two WMU aviators, beginning with their arrival in Kansas for the start of the race. Click on the date for the complete report.

June 23, Kitty Hawk, N.C. -- "We made it! After three long days of flying across the country, we met our goal and arrived at the end of the race."

June 22, Danville, Va. -- "We spent 12 hours going from airport to airport, logged 7.6 hours, flew through nine states, and four legs of the race."

June 21, Menominee, Mich. -- "Today was the big start of the race. We drove to the airport in the pitch black for a mandatory breakfast and weather briefing."

June 20, 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."

June 19, Pratt, Kan. -- "We arrived Monday and were welcomed by the herd of cattle on the approach end of the runway."

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

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