For the last eight years air racers have looked toward Terrell, Texas, on Memorial Day weekend.
The Mark Hardin Memorial Air Race has grown in the last eight years, becoming a charity event. Now, with the support of the city of Terrell, it is ready to present an amazing and worthwhile educational experience for all who attend.
The air race is a Sport Air Racing League championship point sanctioned event that also offers a handicap class for all propeller driven, normally aspirated and turbo super charged aircraft.
To compete in the handicap class, your plane must be able to carry a check pilot who has full access to all controls and instruments.
There will be awards in all classes, along with special awards and prizes. The public votes for the People’s Choice Award for their favorite race plane.
The city of Terrell is making this day a true educational — as well as fun — experience. Food trucks, live bands, bounce houses, and educational experiences provided by the University of Texas at Tyler STEM Truck and the Perot Museum TECH Truck will fill the day.
Terrell Municipal is also home to the No.1 British Training Flight School Museum.
This is a charity event and all proceeds go to the Pride Rock Wildlife Refuge, which rescues animals, including lions, tigers and bears. There will be a raffle and both Pride Rock and the league will be selling merchandise, officials note.
Pilots will be coming from many states to take part in the timed speed racing. All flying is VFR in strict adherence to the FARs.
The Sport League Classes and the Handicap class all fly the same course at the same time. Racers will be scored simultaneously if they compete in both classes. There is an 80-mile course for aircraft with limited range and a top speed of less than 100 knots.
The first turn on the 150 mile course takes the pilots over the resting place of Mark Hardin — a fitting salute to the man who was Terrell Municipal Airport for many decades.
Mark raced his Ercoupe and was a leader in the Ercoupe community. His legacy lives on with his family continuing to operate the FBO, shop and flight school at KTRL.
The highlight of the awards is the Mark Hardin Trophy. The recipient is selected by Mark’s family and given to an individual who best personifies the values and skills of Mark.
In 2017 the award went to the General Aviation News writer William Dubois and his family, who were all in attendance.