Deadline approaching to register for Air Race Classic

Entries for the 2013 Air Race Classic started coming in at noon on Jan. 2, when entries for this year’s race were opened. Over the past two months, 80% of the available racer slots have been claimed. Entries will be accepted until April 1, but the opportunity may not last that long, if all 55 race team slots are filled before then.

Excitement is building for this 2,400-plus statute mile daytime VFR race from Pasco, Washington, to Fayetteville, Arkansas, which will be held June 18-21.

From the start in Washington, racers will fly timing lines at the en route stops in Idaho, Utah, Wyoming, South Dakota, Nebraska, Colorado, and Oklahoma, and race teams will celebrate their accomplishments in Fayetteville, Arkansas.

Check-in, aircraft inspections, and racer briefings will occur June 14-17 in Pasco. Within the constraints of daytime VFR rules, race crews will face challenging decisions and conditions to complete the “perfect cross-country” as they seek the best winds and weather in their quest for Top 10 gold and leg prizes, organizers said.

Post-race activities will run from June 21-23, including a “melt-down” party, debriefings, and the awards banquet. Youth aviation events are also planned for both the start and ending weekends.

Prior to arrival at the start, pilots will complete controlled handicapping flights of their stock aircraft at full power. Crews will then fly against their own handicap speed, trying to best their own top speed as they fly from stop to stop. Each crew must include a pilot and copilot and may include additional team members, all women. The pilot or copilot must have 500 hours PIC or a current instrument rating, and both must hold current medicals and at least private pilot certificates. Thorough knowledge of the rules and route are critical to successful, safe completion of the race, organizers note. Full details of the rules are made available in the race packet.

The Air Race Classic is the longest running all women pilots transcontinental air race. Racers continue the long-time legacy of women’s air racing that began back in 1929 when 20  women flew from Santa Monica, California, to Cleveland, Ohio. In the early days of flying, women were not allowed to fly in any men’s air races, and so they decided to organize their own. The Women’s Air Derby evolved into the All Women Transcontinental Air Race (AWTAR) and had been commonly referred to as the Powder Puff Derby. Today, racers take part in the Air Race Classic and share aviation with communities across the U.S., and the host stops enthusiastically welcome the racers into their cities and towns, according to the organizers.

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