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Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Air Race Classic 2009 - Post #1

Here we go! Gearing up for this year's Air Race Classic, just around the corner!











This year I have a new partner, Jodie Perry, from Austin. I was in Burnet, Texas last fall getting my Tailwheel endorsement with MCFI Ken Wittekiend and he introduced me to Jodie. She keeps her Piper Archer there in Burnet.

We met up in Brenham in the Spring and charted a triangular course so we could fly both airplanes - her Archer and our Cheetah - to see which one fared better against its handicapped speed. The planes flew about the same, but the handicap for the Archer is lower, so we knew we'd have a better shot with her airplane.

Once the aircraft was chosen, the registration packet was sent, and we began discussing strategic plans for the race. Jodie had her mechanics go over the plane in painstaking detail to smooth out any rough places.

Mike and I tacked several World Aeronautic Charts to one living room wall and charted the course. I bought all the Sectional Charts we'll need and Jodie ordered matching shirts for us to wear during the race.

The Air Race Classic sent out press releases and soon we were giving interviews and saving newspapers for our moms.

This year we have tough competition! Seven collegiate teams and some long-time veteran air racers will give us quite a challenge, but we're up for it!

The race begins at Centennial Airport in Englewood, Colorado. From there, we fly to:
Liberal, KS
Sweetwater, TX
Lufkin, TX
Russelville, AR
Grenada, MS
Sparta, TN
Jacksonville, IL
Racine, WI
Atlantic, IA

Total distance: 2359.0 nautical miles/2714.7 statute miles

Several competitors will be keeping blogs during the race. Check out http://www.airraceclassic.org/ and click on "2009 Race" and then "Race Teams" to check out other blogs.

This is a super fun adventure and we're going to have a great time. Stay tuned!

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