JACKSON, TN – June 13, 2019 – More than 100 female pilots will take off on the adventure of a lifetime when the flag drops to mark the start of the 43rd annual Air Race Classic, the oldest airplane race of its kind in the United States, 8 a.m. June 18 from the McKellar-Sipes Regional Airport in Jackson, Tennessee.
From there, they will embark on a course that will take them 2,538 miles to Welland, Ontario, in four days.
Teams will face unfamiliar terrain and challenging weather as they put their piloting skills to the test, flying at maximum speed across nine states and two countries, from the delta of Tennessee through the American heartland to the Welland lake ways and canal connecting Lake Erie and Lake Ontario. At each stop along the way, they will execute a high-speed low pass across a timing line, racing to reach the Terminus, Niagara Central Dorothy Rungeling Airport by 5 p.m. June 22 located in Welland, Ontario.
The nine intermediate stops are
1. Lagrange, Georgia (KLGC) Lagrange-Callaway Airport
2. Hattiesburg, Mississippi (KHBG) Hattiesburg Bobby L. Chain Municipal
3. Bryant, Arkansas (KSUZ) Saline County Regional Airport
4. Lee's Summit, Missouri (KLXT) Lee's Summit Municipal
5. Fairmont, Minnesota (KFRM) Fairmont Municipal
6. Wausau, Wisconsin (KAUW) Wausau Downtown Airport
7. Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan (Kciu, Flyby Only) And Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario (Cyam, Stop) Chippewa County International Airport And Sault Ste. Marie Airport
8. North Bay, Ontario (CYYB) North Bay Jack Garland Airport
9. Brantford, Ontario (CYFD) Brantford Municipal Airport
10. Terminus – Welland, Ontario (CNQ3) Niagara Central Dorothy Rungeling Airport
To follow teams along the route throughout the race, visit https://airraceclassic2019.maprogress.com.
The Air Race Classic traces its roots to the 1929 Women's Air Derby, in which Amelia Earhart and 19 other daring female pilots raced from Santa Monica, California to Cleveland, Ohio. That contest, aka the Powder Puff Derby, marked the beginning of women's air racing in the United States. Today, the Air Race Classic is the epicenter of women's air racing, the ultimate test of aeronautical ability and decision-making.
How long it will take each team to finish the race depends on the weather, the pilot's strategy and the speed of the airplane. The fastest planes may complete the course in two days, while the slowest aircraft may take all four days. Because the Air Race Classic is a handicap race, teams are racing against their own best time, not against one another. This allows slower planes to compete against faster aircraft on an equal basis.
Official standings are determined after the last team has crossed the finish line; the last arrival at the Terminus may, in fact, be the winner.
About the Air Race Classic
Air Race Classic Inc. is an all-volunteer, nonprofit 501(c)3 organization with a mission of encouraging and educating current and future female pilots, increasing public awareness of general aviation, demonstrating women's roles in aviation, and preserving and promoting the tradition of pioneering women in aviation.