Monday, June 27, 2011

Enroute to Salina!

The ladies were enroute to Salina, Kansas today! I received a message from them around dinner time...and I believe they have made it home by now !!

Congrats to these two, wonderful young ladies for their accomplishment! I'm sure they have more pictures, stories, and results to post in the days to come.

WELCOME HOME Classic 30!!

Sunday, June 26, 2011

We got 15th!!

We are both very excited to have placed here, even though we didn't place in the top ten. Especially since this was our first race. tThe banquet was a lot of and the food was really good. We found out that our mama bird placed in 9th place. We are so happy for them!! Congratulations mama birds!! Thanks again for your help.

There were 43 teams who competed and we are very excited about our position. We hope to be able to compete next year and help our younger teammates.

Go classic 30!!!!

Thanks again everyone for all of your help, support, and well wishes we couldn't have done it without all of you!!

We leave at 8:00 tomorrow for Salina, so we will see everyone next year!

Go state!!


Today we spent the day at the beach after our mandatory breakfast. Nicole and I are both very sunburned now, and yes we did put in sunscreen. Tonight is our awards banquet, wish us luck!! We will let everyone know how we do after it is over. Go classic 30!

Sunday night, our last night away from home

On Friday we arrived here at Alabama. Nicole and I both had our first chance of flying VFR on top. This means that we took off in good weather with clear sky's and good visibility. Along our route there were places reporting IFR, but Nicole and I looked at the satalite images and realized there were no clouds there. So we took a chance hoping to get a better tailwind and we took off. We flew above the low clouds, that were caused by rivers and a small dew point spread on the ground. While we were flying luckily the racers ahead told us the clouds cleared up 150 miles before Mobile.

Megan was flying the plane when we arrived at Mobile. This airport is very pretty because it lies on the Gulf of Mexico. The airport we landed was at sea level at 26 ft. I got a little disoriented flying over the ocean with cloud in the sky and the blue water below us. Nicole and I could not believe that the race was over. Once we were on the ground we taxied back to the ramp where we gave each other a big high five. When we got out of the plane we were greeted by our Adopt-A-Racer girls from the boys and girls club of america. they were both wearing tshirts they had decorated with our race number on them. We than let them have a seat in the plane, showed them the controls, and explained to them how things worked. We told them that anything was possible and that their are scholarships out there for them to do these types of things.

On Saturday we met again at the USS Alabama ship, where they were awarded for going through the program. We surprised them with K- State aviation tshirts donated by AHP. After the ceremony both the girls had to leave so Nicole and I, along with her parents and grandparents, got to explore the ship. It was very hot inside the ship but very interesting. Nicole's grandpa had worked on a ship so he guided us through it and explained everything as we went.

We aRe now getting ready to head to the banquet where we will find out the results for the race. We will keep you posted and provide the standings when we get back from the banquet. Wish us luck!!!!

Friday, June 24, 2011

We made it!!

We made it!!

We just completed of fifth and final leg of the 35th annual Air Race Classic. Overall we both agree that the decisions we made were the best we could have. We wouldn't have been able to make it here without the help of many awesome people.

First of all we would like to say a huge thanks to the Conner Burton Aviation Foundation. Without their help we wouldn't have been able to even compete. Next year we hope to teach the younger girls at our school what we have learned. So that we can always have a team for Kansas State University in the future. After we graduate we hope to be able to give back to the Burton Foundation someday when we are able. To check out their website just go to
There you can make a donation or see many of the other students at Kansas State University that the Burton Foundation has helped. Thank you again Jan for all of your help!! The Burton Foundation helps our students by offering scholarships to some students that would not be able to fly without them.

Also a big thank you to Robin and Niki. Without them neither of us would have been able to prepare for this race. We were clueless enough when we got here and had to ask both Robin and Niki for advise along the way. A special thanks to Robin for helping us keep our blog updated, some days we were just to tired to update it ourselves.

A big big thank you goes out to our maintenance crew at Kansas State. They made sure our airplane was in top shape to fly for this
race. Our line guys also did an awesome job cleaning and waxing our plane before we left, to bad bug free airspace doesn't exist. But we did
our best to keep the plane clean along the way. Thanks again for the help during our race Mike.

Another person who deserves our thanks is our Mama birds. Linda Evans, Alison Chalker and Barbara Strachan. They were also a big help in answering questions when we didn't have the answer. We enjoyed getting to know all of you. Competing in the air race was a lot of fun and we hope to be able to meet with all of you in the future. Thanks again for all the advise.

One last thank you goes out to Kathy Sanders, Mark Friesen, the Aviation department, Natalie Blair, our Marketing Team, and of course all of our readers who have followed our blog. Thanks again everyone!!

KSU Made it to Finish Line!

Megan and Nicole JUST completed the 2011 Air Race Classic!

Stay tuned for an update from them.

CONGRATS Ladies on this amazing accomplishment!!

KELD: Waiting on the Weather

I just chatted with Megan and Nicole. They were up early this morning looking at the weather and are just waiting on the right window of opportunity to head out for the finish line. Keep your fingers crossed that the weather holds up for them today!

My thoughts and prayers are with them. GO KSU!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

After flying two legs, waiting at El Dorado airport for three hours, and taking much needed three hour nap Nicole and I are planning out final route to Mobile, Alabama!!!

This morning we woke up at 4:30 in order to plan our routes that we excepted to fly today. I flew the first route from Borger, Texas to Oklahoma University's airport, in Norman, Oklahoma. We completed our flight with a tailwind and are having an amazing time.

We arrived at Norman around 9:00 this morning. Since it Is a controlled airport and home to Oklahoma University it was hectic getting in and out. Everyone was waiting there because of the current IFR conditions that were in El Dorado, our next stop. But we checked with a briefer and were one of the first teams to head out of OK. But little did we know we would have a little delay. Only in Norman will you wait 40 minutes on a taxiway to takeoff. Good thing we accounted for extra fuel that flight!

Nicole flew the next leg to El Dorado, Arkansas. The flight there was nice and smooth. We were by ourselves for the most part on this leg. Halfway along our route we noticed something shiny ahead of us and not moving. There was a haze layer so we assumed it had to be a plane because otherwise we didn't think it would shine. It appeared to not be moving, which normally indicates traffic with which you are on a collision course with. We talked on the air races air to air frequency and there were no souls around us. We were perplexed. Turns out as we flew further it turned out to be a building of some sort. We felt kinda silly until we heard Embry Riddle Prescott make the same assumption over the radio.

When we arrived in El Dorado we cleaned the bugs off the plane and headed inside to check the weather. There were thunderstorms hanging out right over our destination. After being on the phone with two different flight briefers and after calling Robin we decided to stay in El Dorado. The forecast showed thunderstorms in the vicinity and we did not want to risk our safety because the storms were producing two inch hail and 60 mph winds. Thunderstorms generally indicate there will be low ceilings and poor visibility. Because we are flying VFR it is important to follow visual flight rules which means 1000 ft ceilings and 3 miles visibility is mandatory. Flying into the clouds is grounds for disqualification. Several teams went ahead and continued to Mobile but we believe we made the right decision by staying in El Dorado.

We have one more day to complete the race. Pray for us that we will have tailwinds and that the rain and thunderstorms will move out of the area.

Go Classic 30!

Overnight in El Dorado, Arkansas

Megan and Nicole made it to Arkansas! ONE leg left to go! They will be updating the blog later tonight.

They will also be up early to check the weather and wait to see when the best time to depart is. Good luck ladies on your last leg!
Got up at 430 this morning to plan our flight. We are all planned and ready to fly to Norman Oklahoma this morning!! Here in Borger it is suppose to reach 102 today which is a record here, so we are planning to leave as soon as possible. We are on our way to the airport and will keep you updated on where we are.

We just reached Norman, Oklahoma home of the Oklahoma flight school we are checking weather and deciding whether or not to go on ahead to El Dorado, Arkansas.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Day 1: KAIA to KGBD to KBGD

START YOUR ENGINES! (brumm...brummm...brrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr......put put.pputtt....brrrr....)

The ladies (well, most of them) departed Alliance, Nebraska today at noon mountain time (please dis-reguard my previous mis-calculation of mountain time...I guess I'm on my own "Robin" Mountain time!) There are a few ladies that have not left...and I'm not sure if they are still going to compete or not. (some may have had maintenance issues)

Say hello to two friendly face...Lauren Dawson (left) and myself (right). Lauren and I competed in the Air Race Classic in 2007. We went out to Great Bend to cheer the KSU ladies on and also help with the timing line. We had a wonderful trip and were glad to lend our support and time to such a fun event.

And here it is...the 2011 KSU ARC Team's FIRST flyby!
The thrill, excitement, and pure craziness...all in one flyby...flying a couple hundred feet, buzzing the runway at full just a day in the life of an air race classic pilot! And imagine....flying one direction with traffic taking off the opposite direction....a well coordinated and absolutely crazy, yet remarkably safely executed procedure. It's amazing. The ladies preformed excellently and it was fun to watch!

Lauren and Robin with the stop chair, Trish--who was kind enough to let us fly her baby to see our KSU ladies!! We cannot thank you enough for giving us this opportunity!

Here we all are...quick pic! Left to right:
Megan, Nicole, Lauren, Robin

And the ramp filled up rather quickly....

And here they are, after flying the timing line...can you see those smiles?! I think they had a blast! could be bacause of their awesome fans...
Megan's younger brother and mom, in addition to Nicole, Megan, and Jack: 

The ladies flew a great first leg...and decided to fly leg #2 which was from Great Bend to Borger, Texas. They will stay overnight in Texas and re-assess the weather in the morning, hoping to get good weather and tail winds. Until then, goodnight everyone!


The ladies are preparing to depart any time ! Apparently Alliance, NE is on mountain I did not realize that! So....there is T-Minus...oh 15 minutes until start time...! The ladies are probably getting ready to hop in their plane, fire up the engine, and sail away in these winds.


PS: I also worked on a few settings on the blog last night. If you would like to leave comments, I think it should be a bit more user friendly! I was having some trouble the other day, so please let me know if I need to make further changes. Thx, Robin