Handicap flight update: weather cleared right as we neared Vernon, TX, and Erica successfully completed the handicap flight with the judge and with Laura in the back seat.
We received word last night that the flight was accepted by the judges, so now we’re good to race!! Our assigned handicap speed is not as slow as we’d hoped, but we haven’t flown this plane before with this crew combo, so we’re hoping it stays a “speed demon” for the real race! Weather cooperated beautifully as did the airplane, and we all had a great time.
We've had lots of questions about how the race works and how the race is fair since other teams enter airplanes that are faster then our Skyhawk (like Bonanzas, Mooneys, and Cirrus). Here's a very quick summary!
Each team flies a handicap flight to establish a baseline speed at a predetermined altitude with the airplane at maximum power with an onboard GPS tracker.
During the race, we try to beat OUR "handicap speed" by using favorable winds, good flight planning, etc. The team that beats their own handicap speed over the whole race wins the race. There are also pitfalls we seek to avoid such as penalties for various mistakes (wrong altitude on a flyby, being absent from a briefing, etc).
When we approach each airport, we will fly a timing line at fairly low altitude (200 feet above airport) and then slow down to land. So there is not a rush to land quickly to beat your time through landing, which would be unsafe and promote teams cutting each other off, which would also be unladylike!
Thanks everyone for your prayers and support! Race activities start on June 15!