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Monday, June 22, 2009

Air Race Classic 2009 - Post #7

Race eve and as we used to say in auto racing, when the green flag drops, the "nonsense" stops. Formidable competitors are putting on the game face. Briefings all day, watching the weather closely. Thursday might be a wash, and right now it looks like headwinds for most of the course, so we'll look for the altitude that gives us the least amount of headwind. This race will mean more fuel and slower speeds. Density altitude affects how we start and take off here in Denver, leaning the mixture much more than we do at nearly sea level.

Its been a busy, intense day of briefings; safety, weather, regulations, procedures, cockpit management. One can sense the change of mood among racers, who are displaying more of a quiet resolve now. But the day has not been without some comic relief. After discussing the new, strict rules about dual fly-bys a few seasoned race veterans shared 'war stories' some of which they admitted were their own, others were good lessons to be learned, such as not getting interrupted when checking your fuel so you don't forget to put the fuel cap back on.

We're told there's a web cam at one of the stops, one we may reach by Wednesday, in Russellville, Arkansas: http:\\ When you get to the screen that says "Log In" just hit "Submit" without filling anything in. It'll still work.

Web cams may be at other locations too, but nothing compares to the warning we got not to fly over the prison near the Jacksonville, Illinois airport. The prison, about 5 miles southeast of the airport and right on the route, apparently employs a very eager guard who will shoot at airplanes. We'll keep plenty clear of the zealous prison guard. Jodie did say, however, that if he were to shoot at us he'd have more to worry about than prisoners: He'd have to deal with Mom!

Centennial Airport is graciously allowing friends and family to meet at the base of the tower at 7:30 am to be escorted to a special viewing area for the start. The start is really something to see. All 32 race planes will be off the ground in less than half an hour.

I hope to be able to update as the race progresses, but no promises. It'll depend on time and Internet access.

So till next time, blue skies, tail winds, and shiny side up!

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