And They're Off - Women's Air Race Classic Begins
The 2012 Women's Air Race Classic has begun.
57 Teams of two (or in a couple cases, three) Women pilots are off and flying. This years air race classic is underway and the pilots have departed today from HII, Lake Havasu City Airport, Lake Havasu City, AZ.
These women will navigate and fly their planes for 2681.54 statute miles, stopping at 9 scheduled airports, zig zagging from south to north and west to east, across the county until they arrive at their final destination, 169 Clermont County airport in Batavia, OH. It will be quite the journey.
Novice racers will compete against the Veterans of this race. There will be college aviators and senior citizens. These women racers come from all walks of life and live all over the US.
Not only will they be competing against each other, they will dealing with mother nature taking into consideration winds and weather, their own personal skills and capabilities of their aircraft. To be sure they will tonight be plotting out their next leg, calculating fuel, weight, winds, weather to formulate a strategic plan.
They do this for fun, they do this to raise awareness for women in aviation, some to highlight a cause, but also because they CAN!
While I am not able to attend or see any of these gals in action,
I was able to see the gals of the 2008 Air Race and welcome them back at the finish at 1B9 Mansfield, MA. It was exciting, no.. thrilling. Not only did I get to see the finish, my sister in law and mentor, Pam Palmieri co-owner of Promotions-etc, flew for the first time in that race. I was there as she landed, welcome poster board sign in hand. I met some astonishing women, young and old. They were an inspiration to me.
In 2010 Women accounted for approximately only 7% of the pilot population. This number is dramatically increasing due in part to events such as the ARC.
If you ever thought of flying, go down to your local flight school. It is less expensive than you think and the best thing you can do for yourself! If you are in Eastern or Southern MA or Rhode Island, give King Aviation at Mansfield MA airport a try. They have plenty of great instructors, great planes, and on top of that, a nice friendly staff to help you along your flight path.
The 2012 Women's Air Race finishes up this year on June 22. I wish all the teams tail winds and the mechanical Gods smiling on them.
It doesn't matter who finishes first.. All these gals are winners in my book!