June 26, 2013
By Benét J. Wilson
Despite weather woes, 42 teams made it to the finish line in this year’s Air Race Classic. The event is the longest running all-women pilots transcontinental air race.
The race route had to be altered due to weather, said Air Race Classic President Marolyn Wilson. “We were forced to cancel the first leg of the race, originally leaving from Pasco, Washington,” she said. “Racers had to make their own way to the first stop, in Mountain Home, Idaho.”
The race was approximately 2,400 statute miles and the contestants were given four days, flying VFR in daylight hours, to reach the terminus, at Fayetteville, Ark. “Since the race didn’t start until Mountain Palm, the race rules weren’t in effect. Racers could fly to Mountain Home, could file and go IFR, which is illegal in the race,” said Wilson.
Racers voted on several awards during the race, said Wilson. The best stops were Pasco and Logan, Utah. The race winners were Marge Thayer and Helen Wyrick. The most congenial team was the Classic Racer 36 Racing team of Rosies, Zia Safko and Emily Applegate.
The winners in the Collegiate Challenge Trophy were Valdeta Mehanja and Danielle Erlichman of Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University; Jessica Lowery and Andrea Ziervogel of Louisiana Tech University; Tonya Hodson, Jennifer McLean, and Karen Morrison of Kansas State University; and Jessica Dyer and Charity Holland of Liberty University. The team of Mary Gibb and Cathy Darcy won the SOS Claude Glasson Award for the lowest-scoring team.
Races are scheduled through 2018, said Wilson. “The 2014 race, June 16 through 19, starts in Concord, Calif., and ends in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania,” she said.
AOPA eNewsletter and Social Media Editor Benét J. Wilson joined AOPA in 2011. She is working on her private pilot certificate.
AOPA worked with the flight training industry and FAA to quickly resolve a problem that suddenly put many rating applications on hold.
The Upwind Summer Scholarship Program, which gives high school students a chance to earn their private pilot certificate in the summer between their junior and senior year, is accepting applications for its 2015 scholarship.
If only one person had been helped, it all would have been worthwhile. But much more than that has been accomplished over the 25-year life of the National Gay Pilots Association, said its executive director.
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