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One month to go

May 22, 2010

The sun is setting here in Frederick, MD and I realize that in one month Heather and I will be completing our first day of racing.  As the start gets closer we grow more and more excited and realize how much we still have to do before heading to Florida for the start activities and briefings.

The schedule for the race is as follows:  ( I know you’re all going to want to mark this on your calendar and input the dates in your Blackberry!)

The race starts in Ft. Myers, Florida on Tuesday, June 22nd at 8:00am.   We have until Friday, June 25th at 5:00pm to arrive in Frederick, Maryland.  It’s up to us to determine how far we want to fly each day, but we have mandatory fly-by’s at the following airports in the following order:

  • KFMY – Page Field – Fort Myers, Florida (Start)
  • KAYS – Waycross -Ware County Airport – Waycross, Georgia
  • KTCL – Tuscaloosa Regional Airport – Tuscaloosa, Alabama
  • KHOT – Memorial Field Airport – Hot Springs, Arkansas
  • KEZZ – Cameron Memorial Field – Cameron, Missouri
  • KMDH – Southern Illinois Airport – Carbondale-Murphysboro, Illinois
  • KEKM – Elkhart Municipal Airport – Elkhart, Indiana
  • KPKB – Mid-Ohio Valley Regional Airport, Parkersburg, West Virginia
  • KFDK – Frederick Municipal Airport, Frederick, Maryland (Terminus)

There’s a lot of strategy that goes into the flight planning.  While it makes sense that flying a direct route from point A to point B (yes…. I did pay attention in school and learned that the shortest distance between 2 points is a straight line,) and one would think that in the air you have no obstacles to keep you from flying in a straight line – that’s not necessarily the case.  We’ll look into this a little closer to the race dates, but you get the drift; the more turns we have to make, the more time it will take us to accomplish the leg.  Each “leg” of the race is timed independently and the cumulative time, adjusted by a pre-determined handicap, and increased by any penalties (sooooo many ways to be penalized….)will determine the winner of the race.

Bottom line:  first one to Frederick is NOT necessarily the winner of this race.  So don’t count out the teams who arrive in Frederick on Friday afternoon.

Weather will play a big role in flight planning.  Altitude and course direction will alter based on the weather forecast each morning and throughout the day.


One Comment leave one →
  1. Hilary permalink
    May 24, 2010 11:47 am

    While I have not met Heather, Sandi and I are great friends. I heard all about your preparations this past week while having dinner with Sandi at one of our favorite restaurants in Frederick. The excitement and anticipation shows in Sandi’s face when she is talking about this trip. I wish you both the very best on this exciting adventure !!! I will be eagerly awaiting news of your daily adventures and hope the weather cooperates the entire time.

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