Kathleen Roy (right) and Carolyn Smith arrive back at AOPA headquarters after competing in the Air Race Classic.
AOPA and AOPA Air Safety Foundation staff members Carolyn Smith and Kathleen Roy are back safe and sound at AOPA's Frederick, Md., headquarters, after competing in this year's Air Race Classic. The race is the nation's only all-female air race.
"Every woman pilot should have the opportunity to do this race!" said Roy. Added Smith, "We've never had so much fun learning so much."
The pair flew more than 1,000 nm from Frederick to the race's starting line in Pratt, Kansas. Then over the course of three days, they covered nearly 1,900 nm on a course that took them over Iowa, Minnesota, Michigan's Upper Penninsula, Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Virginia, and finally past Kill Devil Hills to Manteo in North Carolina.
"As first-time racers, it was especially memorable to finish the race by flying over the Wright Brothers Memorial," Smith said.
The racers are up against the clock more than each other. Their challenge is to plan the best flight profile for the wind conditions. Roy and Smith finished respectably for first-time racers.
"The racers enjoy the competition," said Roy, "but above all seek the challenge of flying a perfect cross-country flight."