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We Finished the ARC 2015 Race!!!

June 26, 2015  •  1 Comment

Nancy and I finished the 2015 Air Race Classic yesterday at 3:05 pm with almost 2 hours to spare.  We discovererd a dead battery yesterday morning when we arrived at the KUCY airport, in Union City, TN, to fly our final two legs of the race.  Fortunately the wonderful crew at KUCY were able to recharge my battery in a few hours.  A huge thank you to Jo Ann Speer, the Airport Manager, William Waggoner, the owner of WillAero, LLC, and Glenn Belson, a retired Navy Pilot and mechanic.  I will definitely be stopping at KUCY on my future cross country flights from DE to TX.  Also want to thank John Armstrong and Dave Passmore of Lifestyle Aviation and Brad Reamer of Advanced Aircraft for early morning phone call support.

6 hours later we were in the air and were able to do a fly-by to continue at Gadsden, AL, KGAD, and then direct to the terminus at Fairhope, AL, KCQF.

Since we were the last team to leave KUCY and the last team to cross the finish line at KCQF, Nancy and are now famous.  We had large crowds at both airports waving as we flew the timing lines.  Also all the race teams at the finish where rooting for us as they followed our progress along the final two legs and hoping we would finish in time.

We we will not know our actual standings until later this weekend, but Nancy and I are very pleased with our race performance, the precision of the fly-bys, and the decisions we made during the last four days.  

Thanks to to all the wonderful people we met along the way to support the racers and the All Women's Air Race Classic.

And a huge Thank You to our sponsors:

   John Armstong and Lifestyle Aviation

   Barbara and Dana Wright

   Jane and Marion Waggoner

   Mary Heinsohn

   Jan Churchill

   Ginny Batzel

   Ron Mehan


Day 3 Complete

June 24, 2015  •  Leave a Comment

We waited out the severe thunderstorms between Lawrenceville, IL and Kirksville, MO this morning.  We finally departed about 11:15am CDT and easily completed legs 6 & 7.  We will get up early in the morning and hope the weather lets us fly the final two legs, from Union City, TN to Gadsden, AL, then to the terminus in Fairhope, AL.  

We are still having fun and seem to be doing well in the race.  With the handicap system, it is impossible to know how we are doing versus the other racers.  We are making safe decisions and having fun.  So far I think we have flown all fly-bys very well.  We had winds gusting to 28 knots today at the Kirksville, MO, fly-by.  Quite a challenge holding altitude at 200'AGL flying at 170 kts with winds gusting to 28kts.

More photos will be posted tomorrow.  I am using all available internet bandwidth tonight to update the Garmin Data Cards for my flight avionics in my plane.  The new cycle starts tomorrow.  So far it has taken almost two hours and I still have one more card to go.  

To the finish in the morning...

Weather: When to Depart

June 24, 2015  •  Leave a Comment

We got to the airport in Lawrenceville, IL at 6:00am this morning and see the following radar.

The good news is that we still have plenty of time to get to the terminus by 5:00pm on Thursday.  Here is our progress for Day 1 and  Day 2  


Five out of Nine Legs Complete

June 23, 2015  •  Leave a Comment

We are halfway through the race and have completed the first 5 out of 9 legs.  We are currently in Lawrenceville, IL.  We flew 3 legs on Day 1 and 2 legs on Day 2.  We are doing well, but are tired.  While we have not had terrible weather, we have had some challenges along the way.  

The first leg we experienced some light rain.  The second leg was some marginal VFR, meaning the clouds were within 3000' AGL (above the ground).  The third leg weather was fine.  The biggest challenges on Day 1 were the fly-bys across the timing lines.  We do a fly-by at 150 kts at 200' AGL to start and stop our time for each leg.  The patterns were very congested with planes arriving, landing and departing.  We even had to do a dual fly-by, as we were overtaking a slower plane at the timing line.  

Day 2 we encountered Marginal VFR along most of the route, but we were able to safely fly across the flat lands of Indiana, Michigan and Illinois and stay below the scattered layer of clouds.  We were unable to fly leg 6 this afternoon due to a large thunderstorm approaching Kirksville, MO.  We decided to not take the risk and settled for a nice dinner.  

Hope you are enjoying following us.  We are having a lot of fun interacting with the other race teams.  The camaraderie of fellow women pilots cannot be beat.  Here are a few pictures taken at the start and along the race route. 

At the Race Start At the Race StartAt the Race Start

Leg 1 Light Rain Showers Light Rain Leg 1Light Rain Leg 1

Virginia Mountains Virginia MountainsVirginia Mountains

Distant Rain Showers Distant Rain ShowersDistant Rain Showers

West Virginia Windmills West Virginia WindmillsWest Virginia Windmills

Indiana Farmland Indiana FarmlandIndiana Farmland

ARC Briefings on Saturday

June 20, 2015  •  1 Comment

We spent most of the day in race briefing meetings.  The morning focused on general race details, judging and scoring.  The afternoon focused on the use of the technology that we will have in each plane.

We will be using the Bad Elf Pro GPS tracking device as the primary timing device for the race.  Each team will need to download the data from each leg flown and email the track log every night and turn in the device at the end of the race.  In addition, there will also be timing officials on the ground recording time as we cross the timing lines at the beginning and end of each race leg.  

We will also be carrying a SPOT GPS tracker.  You can track our real time position during the race at http://trackleaders.com/arc15. We are Team 28.

Foreflight is another important application for iPads that we will be using for flight and weather planning and enroute charts and airport diagrams.  Foreflight is a sponsor of the Air Race Classic this year and is offering free subscriptions to all racers for the race.  I have been using ForeFlight as my most essential flight application for 5 years, so I am very familiar with ForeFlight.

We will finish the day with a Take Off Banquet tonight.  Tomorrow is filled with more briefings.  The race begins early Monday morning.

Here is a screen shot of the map of the entire race course from ForeFlight.

Race Map

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