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All-female flying teams touch down in Ada midway through cross-country race

The Air Race Classic started Tuesday morning. 41 all-female flying teams took off from Lakeland, Florida.
Published: Jun. 22, 2022 at 6:33 PM CDT
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ADA, Okla. (KXII) - The Air Race Classic started Tuesday morning. 41 all-female flying teams took off from Lakeland, Florida.

Since then, they’ve been through Alabama and Louisiana, and by the time they land in Ada, they’ve flown 1,300 miles.

Elizabeth Mislam flew in the race for the University of North Dakota. She said she’s been flying for five years, and the best part is the friends she’s met. But it’s also just fun.

“I love the technology,” Mislam said. “And I love learning about all the systems and the cool stuff that we have in the plane, it’s fascinating.”

Mary Bryant has been flying for 40 years. She said the Air Race Classic is the big US women’s air race.

“Fun, challenging, exhausting and hot, hot, hot,” Bryant said. “Most of our planes aren’t air conditioned, and we’re kind of flying lower than we might have otherwise, so were trying to stay hydrated.”

She made the flight with another experienced pilot, Yvonne Wibben, who flies commercially.

“737 is air conditioned, so I seriously miss it,” Wibben said. “But for me to come back to my general aviation roots by flying a single engine again with a standard 6 pack and a basic GPS system has been another learning experience for me.”

The teams have an option to land and fuel up at each stop, and the clock is paused while they take a break. But there are other factors that could affect a pilot’s flight time, such as weather.

“In fact, we’re worried about that a little bit, going up to Lawrence there may be some weather between here and there,” Bryant said. “So were gonna scurry out of here.”

The race ends in Terre Haute, Indiana on Friday.

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