JANET'S DAILY JOURNAL

June 9, 2006
 
Bags are packed and important last minute things are taken care of -- hair cut and highlighted, manicure, pedicure...yes, I am high maintenance .  Now we are watching weather...a lot of rain in the Northeast.  Hopefully Kathy will be able to fly here from Massachusetts on Saturday as we are planning to leave York early Sunday morning. 
 
 I wanted to have a family get-together before I left..... so my daughter, Jill, and son, Brian, and his friend Lori were here for dinner tonight.  Good visit!

June 10, 2006

Heavy rain in the Northeast prevented Kathy from getting here today as planned. Tomorrows weather looks better.... hopefully she will be able to get here. Then we will get a weather update and make the decision on when we leave for Mesa.   Hugs and goodbyes to friends and family are done and I am really anxious to get started on the trip. 
June 11, 2006
 
KATHY HAS ARRIVED.....she landed at York Airport about 11:30 this morning.  We spent the rest of the day finalizing our trip preparation...... attaching our race number 9 to plane, weight and balance (2 gals with 2 to 3 weeks of clothing...
.....we have a lot of luggage), checking weather and flight planning.  We will probably be leaving very early tomorrow morning. After a weather update, we will decide our flight path.
June 12, 2006
 
Awoke at 5:00 am to local weather of clear skies, calm winds, and 10+ miles visibility. Trip was a go. 
 
Our first day destination was Memphis, Tennessee. Weather brief revealed storms in West Virginia, Virginia, Maryland, and Carolinas so we decided to fly west before we headed south.  Landed in Zanesville, Ohio (zzv) to check flight service to see if weather cleared out of our flight path.  After a bite to eat, we were airborne again.  Had a great day of flying but landed short of our Memphis destination because of weather.  Landed in Glasgow, Kentucky (glw) (east of Bowling Green) and decided to spend the night.  Will head for Memphis tomorrow..... we want to see Elvis.
June 13, 2006
 
Departed Glasgow, Kentucky with clear skies and tail winds to Memphis, Tennessee.  Landed at General Dewitt Spain Airport (M01) which is located next to the Mississippi River...... beautiful view of city and the river flying in.  Rented a car and drove to Graceland.  No Elvis sightings but tour was fantastic.  Viewed his car museum, airplanes, and the mansion which included the burial sites of Elvis and his parents.  This evening we went to the famous Beale Street.
  
June 14, 2006
 
Weather gods smiled down on us again today with beautiful weather and tail winds.  Left Memphis and flew to Ada, Oklahoma Ada Municipal - ADA).  We stopped here because this will be one of the stops in the race.  After fueling the plane and a trip down the road for lunch we were airborne again.  We landed in Big Spring, Texas (Big Spring McMahon Wrinkle Airport - BPG) to stay the night.
 
June 15, 2006
 
Left Big Spring, Texas this am. (yes, Marilyn, that sure is a swinging town.)  Passed a field full of prairie dogs on road to airport....cute little rascals. Climbed to 8500 ft ...altitude of terrain is getting higher.  Texas is very flat and barren.  We passed south of Guadalupe Peak in Guadalupe National Park.....awesome.  Over Salt Flats and then over El Paso.  Landed at Santa Teresa, New Mexico at Dona Ana County Airstrip - 5T6. - this is also a stop in the air race. We were going to get lunch and then head for Mess -last leg of trip to the race start.  A check of weather reported very strong winds kicking up.  Since next part of our trip will take us through very mountainous terrain  .....we decided to wait until early tomorrow morning.  We drove into El Paso for the night. 
 

June 16, 2006

 
In the air by 7:30 am - high winds forecast for later. Flew over beautiful mountainous New Mexico....very different mountains than back east.  After about 3 hours of flying (had strong head wind today) we finally touched down in Mesa, Arizona......how does 103 degrees sound?  After that we were busy getting us registered, plane registered and inspected.  Meeting a lot of gal pilots from all over the U.S.
June 17, 2006
 
Stopped by airport this am. to have RPM check done on plane and socialize with new arrivals.  Then it was time to play tourist.  We drove out Apache Trail through the desert into the mountains .....absolutely awesome  drive.  Took a lot of pictures.  We stopped at ghost mining town and we ended up at Tortilla Flats which is a little town that was originally a stage coach stop. Town consisting of four buildings.  We had lunch in the saloon...sat at the bar on bar stools that were horse saddles. 
 
Tonight a welcome reception for the racers started the race activities
June 18, 2006
 
Took advantage of free time today.  Drove to Scottsdale, AZ  to visit Taliesin West - Frank Lloyd Wright's Desert Home....amazing design!  This afternoon I attended a meeting for first time racers.  This evening was the Kick-off Banquet where all of the race teams were introduced.
 
June 19, 2006
 
Very busy today .....a lot of last minute things to take care of before race starts tomorrow.  Mandatory meeting this am. for all racers and then attended a safety seminar.  Early to bed ..tomorrow is BIG day.
June 20, 2006
 
WOW......what a exciting day! 
Group breakfast at 5:30 am. with last minute instructions and weather briefing.  Then off to the airport.  Planes were parked in rows according to team number.....we are #9.  Flagman walked to each plane and signaled when to start engine at 8:00 sharp.
We departed in numerical order by team number.
 
We had great flight from Mesa to first check point in Santa Teresa, New Mexico....clear shies with tail wind.  Two hours and fourteen
minutes later we flew over timing line at Dona Ana Airport(5T6). We circled to land and then things got exciting......left main tire blew
when we landed.  We were able to get plane stopped very quickly but we were not able to move plane off runway.  Radio Unicom
immediately began notifying other racers to use other runway..... so race was able to continue.  We were fine....no damage to plane....
tire was replaced and we where back in the air in a few hours.  Mechanics and airport people were great.  We took off and again flew
over timing line to start the clock.  We had to be very careful on departure.....had detailed instructions and diagram how to fly south
of mountains and around El Paso airspace while keeping the Rio Grande River off right wing so we didnít cross into Mexico. Those instructions
did not tell us the river was dried up...that was a little exciting....making sure we were not illegal immigrants.
 
Flight to second check point (Ozona, Texas) did not allow us the tails winds we had earlier and we had moderate turbulence most of the trip.
When we landed at Ozona Municipal - OZA and decided we had enough for one day.
 
The people at all the stops are great.  Local town people and news media come out to watch the planes, talk to the racers and
get our signatures in the program books next to our pictures. Volunteers are available to provide us with gift bags, food, water
and transportation to hotels....even cell phones to close flight plans.  
 
Day 1 was quite an experience!

June 21, 2006

Transported to airport to at 6:00 am.  After weather brief we decided a "no-go".  We waited it out and were able to get in the air about 10:00 am.  We had to vector around some weather and we hit some showers but was a great learning experience. We flew 2 legs of the race today.....landed in Bryan, TX (Coulter Field - CFD) and then on to Bastrop, Louisiana (Morehouse Memorial - 2F8). We stayed there for the night.  We thought about pushing on but we were unsure of the weather and we were really tired...the heat is really draining us.

 June 22, 2006 

In the air by 7:15 am..... Needed to get to Ada, Oklahoma stop before thunder storms moved in.  We landed at Ada Municipal Ė ADH and then right on to Lawrence, Kansas (Lawrence Municipal - LWC).  We stayed there for a few hours to wait for storms to clear out of our flight path.  Then we flew the longest leg of the race to Albert Lea, Minnesota (Albert Lea Municipal - AEL).

We did really well today....from Louisiana to Minnesota..... We traveled a lot of miles and the scenery was beautiful. We are now back to seeing green on the ground instead of brown dessert.  We have also reached cooler temperatures. One more leg to go and weather looks good for tomorrow.  The waiting for weather to clear is actually fun.....we get to socialize with the other racers. They have all been so nice and a lot of fun.  The racers are from all over the US. and range in age from college students majoring in aviation to a spunky little lady of 85 who is still flying and very competitive.  There are a team of Sisters and also a Mother/Daughter team. They are from all professions....flight instructors, lawyers; microwave engineer, cargo pilot, realtors, teachers and also the CEO of Mooney Aircraft (guess what she flew in the race).  It is really interesting listening to these women discussing engines, equipment, avionics and types of aircraft. It has been a real education.

June 23, 2006 

WE MADE IT! 

Weather gods smiled down on us big time today....clear blue skies with unlimited visibility. We had a beautiful flight to Menominee, Michigan. After flying over 2154 nautical miles crossing over 12 states, we crossed the finish line at Menominee Twin Lakes Airport - MNM.  We had to fly out over Lake Michigan to set up for approach to land.......beautiful site. 

All the teams made it in but #34.....our good Texas friends Sandy and April (V-tails rule) had to drop out of the race yesterday with engine problems after they did an emergency landing In Iowa.  They did an excellent job getting the plane and themselves safely on the ground.We will miss them at the closing activities....we are just glad they are okay. 

Temperature here was 75 degrees when we landed about noon......feels like fall after the 100+ temps we came from.  This evening we attended a Welcome Barbeque at the marina....nice to socialize not in race mode.

June 24, 2006
 
This morning we were at the airport to meet with local Girl Scouts that were earning badges in aviation.  Our air race officials
did an excellent job informing the girls all about aviation, how the race works, and about different careers in aviation.  Then we
were assigned 2 scouts to take to the plane......let them sit in and explain how plane works.  It was a lot of fun for me and the girls
really seemed to enjoy it.
 
This afternoon I attended a first time racers debriefing .....and rest of day relaxed.

 

This Concludes Janet's Journal.

 

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