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2005 Air Race Classic 'flight log'

June 23, 2005

by Erica Ebenhoeh and Sarah Tower

TULLAHOMA, Tenn.--We departed Shreveport, La., this morning at 0900 and flew to Walnut Ridge, Ark. To avoid a headwind, we flew low to the ground and subsequently endured high temperatures, averaging 91 degrees Fahrenheit. Our airplane is well ventilated, but it's pretty useless when the incoming air is hot.

When we got to Walnut Ridge, we were surprised to see a group of local crop dusters circling to drop fertilizers and pesticides around the airport. We flew our timing line and were startled to have four yellow biplanes running circles over the runway environment. I'm sure they knew what they were doing, but it was surprising to see such activity at 100 feet above the ground.

We had a quick turnaround in Walnut Ridge and flew low and fast to Tullahoma. Once again, we had high temperatures outside and inside of our cockpit. We tried to stay cool, but when we landed in Tullahoma, we were both suffering from mild heat exhaustion. We decided to stay in Tennessee for the night and spend the remainder of the day in the hotel pool.

Tomorrow, we'll depart for Athens, Ohio, and on to finish the race at the terminus in Lafayette, Ind. We feel that we've been flying a good race, but we won't know our official standings until the awards banquet on Sunday.

--Sarah Tower

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Media contact: Thom Myers, 269 387-8400, thom.myers@wmich.edu

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