Well the results are in: A fastest leg award for taking first on the Indy to MI leg.
The real win: the experience, and being able to pay it forward. We thank you so very much for supporting this journey!
We will be on our way after a short night’s sleep, departing from KMHV – Mojave Air and Space Port!
Anne Marie and I are transitioning from race-planning to race-mode! All registration, documentation, and logistics planning is complete! So I find myself packing this weekend: fitting only exactly what I need into as small and light of a space as possible and shipping out a couple of care-packages to the race start and terminus for the niceties to get me through this 2-week adventure.
I still have our 9 race sectionals sprawled out across my living space – we “flew the race” over these sectionals via rulers and a pink highlighter, taking notes, determining minimum safe altitudes and other notable features. Nothing replaces the benefits of this pencil-to-paper process for me in flight planning – it makes the visualization of the flight much more tangible for me. Thinking about things like what features of terrain I’ll be passing when its time to switch frequencies, or the landmarks I’d be relying on if for some reason my navigation was reduced to dead-reckoning/pilotage (i.e., no magenta line on the Garmin 530 or Foreflight) – has made this upcoming race feel like just another set of normal cross-country flights instead of the more daunting sounding “legs of The Air Race.”
My past few weeks have been filled with lots of flying adventures and regrettably little blogging as I strove to build PIC time. But what terrific adventures…
A cloud does not know why it moves in just such a direction, and at just such a speed, It feels an impulsion…this is the place to go now. But the sky knows the reasons and the patterns behind all clouds, and you will know too, when you lift yourself high enough to see beyond horizons.
– the Handbook, “Illusions,” Richard Bach
Scruffy, Dustin, Sooch, Pard, Enrico, Karina, Loretta, Scott: Thanks to you especially for taking on this big flying endeavor with me, helping lower the barriers, sharing resources – time, airplanes, avgas, patience, moral support, humor, love.
And of course, Anne Marie: OFF WE GO!
The world is a dream, you say, and it’s lovely sometimes. Sunset. Clouds. Sky
No. The image is a dream. The beauty is real. Can you see the difference?
I’ve gotten lots of questions so far on how a transcontinental air-race actually works:
“So if you’re not racing for speed on a closed course, how is this a ‘race’? ” for example.
Fair point! The objective of this race is for each team to fly the fastest race possible for their make and model of airplane. The Air Race Classic compares team’s performances by using a calibrating technique referred to as assigning each plane a “handicap.” The ARC Handicap predicts, as accurately as possible, each airplane’s maximum true airspeed. (True airspeed is the measure of how fast an airplane is moving relative to the air surrounding it. “Ground Speed” is the rate the airplane is moving relative to the ground.”)
During the race, the team’s speed for each leg is calculated using the times that each team crosses a start and finish line for that race leg. The race leg speeds are compared to the team’s handicap speed. The team that beats their handicap by the largest number wins. In essence, each team is really racing against themselves and trying to beat their handicap by the best margin.
Handicaps are determined for each airplane in a “handicap run,” in which a racer flies her airplane with a designated race examiner and a GPS tracking device (known as the Bad Elf – yes really) on a closed course at a density altitude of 6,000 ft.
Anne Marie has already completed our handicap run for The Tiger, and with the help of her winsome A&P, Ed Kaston, has also completed the significant registration work for The Tiger as well!
About Ed, Anne Marie says, “Ed’s forgotten more about Tigers than most pilots will ever know – so he is my trusted A&P!” We are grateful for his support!