WMU News

2001 Air Race Classic 'flight log'

by Jo-Elle Warner

June 25, 2001

SAN DIEGO -- Greetings from San Diego! Hopefully, this will be our last corresponcence from this stop as the race gets underway tomorrow [June 26].

Saturday and Sunday, we rested and prepped for the race. We had a wonderful visit at the World Famous San Diego Zoo with Denise (close family friend from Michigan) and Scotty on Sunday. The polar bears and pandas were our faves.

Sunday evening, the Start banquet was held here at the hotel. The big surprise was our guest speaker, Capt. Al Haynes (captain of the Sioux City United 232 crash in 1989). He was a humble man and an outstanding motivational speaker -- what an privilege for us.

At 0700 this morning, we took our "spare luggage" to the lobby. This luggage is being shipped compliments of FedEx to Cincinnati, so that we don't have to fly with all that weight.

Then, we attended the following briefs here at the hotel: 1st time racers clinic, safety brief, contestant brief, weather brief, and the Annual Air Race Classic meeting. The weather brief was quite interesting because we have a lot of moisture here in the Southwest creating a lot of precipitation and unstable conditions over the mountain ranges. Not to worry, as we will always be flying in visual meteorological conditions. It just means that the weather will be the most influential factor determining how far we get each day.

As of now, there are 31 teams in the race. There were originally 35, but four teams have scratched for various reasons. We are meeting a great variety of women pilots; the former mayor of El Paso, a former WASP, Purdue students, retirees, airport managers, a corporate pilot, flight instructors, former commercial and military pilots, and more. What an amazing group of ladies.

Tomorrow, we'll be in touch with news of race progress!

Back to flight log

Jo-Elle Warner is a flight instructor in College of Aviation and a graduate of the WMU aviation program. She and Michelle Homister, an April aviation graduate, are competing against more than 30 teams from around the nation in the 2001 Air Race Classic, June 26-30, beginning in San Diego and concluding four days and more than 2,200 miles later at Sporty's Airport in Batavia, Ohio.

Media contact: Cheryl Roland, 616 387-8400, cheryl.roland@wmich.edu

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