Jimmy Carter Regional Airport is eighth stop for 40th Annual Air Race Classic
From STAFF REPORTS
AMERICUS – The Air Race Classic (ARC), an all-women cross-country airplane race, will be coming to Americus on June 23 and June 24.
Fifty five airplanes, carrying over 100 pilots, will execute high-speed flybys over a timing line at Jimmy Carter Regional Airport (JCRA) as teams race the clock on their way from Prescott, AZ, to Daytona Beach, FL.
This year’s course covers 2,716 miles and is a special collegiate race, with each stop at or near a renowned college or university aviation program, such as South Georgia Technical College. The 130 racers have four days to complete the course, which will start in Prescott at 8:00 a.m. on June 21 and end in Daytona Beach at 5:00 p.m. on June 24.
The race route will take the pilots 2,716 miles in just four days. Teams will face unfamiliar terrain and challenging weather as they put their piloting skills to the test, flying at maximum speed across 12 states, from Arizona’s pine forests and high desert through America’s Midwestern heartland to the sandy beaches of Florida.
“Every June, female pilots from across the nation fly the ARC for the competition and camaraderie,” said Air Race Classic President Lara Gaerte. “We look forward to welcoming back veteran racers, meeting new competitors at this year’s start, and celebrating the end of a great race together at the Terminus.”
This year’s competitors range from high school and college students to veteran racers in their 80s. Some are flying the ARC for the first time, while others have dozens of races in their logbooks. Each race plane carries a team of two or three women: pilot, copilot and an optional teammate. Of the 55 teams in this year’s race, 19 are representing colleges or universities.
Four of the teams are made up of multiple generations of the same family, with grandmothers, daughters and granddaughters – all pilots or student pilots – racing together.
After flying the timing line at JCRA, racers may land to fuel up and eat, then will fly the timing line again as they depart for the Terminus; Daytona Beach. Some teams may spend the night in Americus.
Airplane enthusiasts can come to any of the stops to watch racers fly the timing line and maybe meet them on the ground. At each stop, volunteers help the racers with water, food, fuel, transportation – whatever they need. In addition, racers participate in youth education programs at the start and Terminus.
The ARC web site, www.airraceclassic.org, has a map with the course and real-time tracking of the racers’ locations. Some teams post on Twitter (@2016ARC), Facebook or their own web sites or blogs.
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.
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