Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Pilots reach new heights: Pair take to skies in 2,400-mile race

NEW CASTLE — In a small, single-engine plane that is slower than a speeding car, Cynthia Lee and Nancy Rohr found themselves caught in a thunderstorm somewhere over Newberry, Mich. 

 But the two pilots, tucked together their Diamond DA-40, weren’t worried. They were excited.

Last week, the duo competed in the 35th annual Air Race Classic, a 2,400-mile competition from Lake Havasu City, Ariz., to Batavia, Ohio, for female aviators.

The race is composed of various timed legs and challenges where pilots compete in events including high-speed flybys, following designated routes and flying clean legs that stay within parameters. Each aircraft is handicapped for speed and engine power, with the goal of having the actual ground speed as far over the handicapped speed as possible.

“It’s a huge tradition that’s been going on for [decades],” said Lee, 57, of Avondale, Pa. “It’s beyond my wildest dreams that I would fly and be in one of these races. [It] was fantastic [and] it was the first race for both of us.”

Lee, a relatively new flyer, and her co-pilot, 57-year-old Newark resident and experienced aviator Rohr, paired up after learning about the race during a Christmas party for the Mid-Atlantic Ninety-Nines, an international organization of female pilots that began with Amelia Earhart. They wanted to carry on the tradition of other Wilmington-area pilots who competed in the event in years past.

Read more here:  http://www.delawareonline.com/article/20120626/NEWS/306260040/Pilots-reach-new-heights?odyssey=tab|topnews|text|Home&nclick_check=1

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