Thursday, July 8, 2010

Rogers, Arkansas - Amarillo, TX

We stopped off in Rogers, Arkansas to visit with Glenn, another brother of Anne Marie. He let us drive the very purple 'Vette into town for lunch. We had a great time with Glenn and Jim. Thanks, guys!!!

Look below the plane and you will see the little bunny who had taken shelter in Amarillo, TX, our stop over after Rogers. The bunny could have been a possible stow away! We headed home the next day with a stop in the oh-so-exciting town of Winslow, AZ. It was desolate but they did have the state penitentiary workers on the field cleaning the airport. I cringed when Anne Marie left me to fuel the plane by myself so she could use the restroom. I felt so safe......NOT! LOL!

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Race Results

Dear Friends, Family and Fans,
Many of you have been patiently awaiting the results of the race. We have been on the go since the night of the banquet. After the banquet, we went back to Dr. Mike's to pack and leave early the next morning. In Kentucky, where we are presently waiting the fog to lift, the wireless in our hotel was not working. Therefore, we are posting this last. Our apologies.
This year's race was to be different - all planes, regardless of modifications could be raced because each and every plane would run a similar timing run in similar conditions which in turn would be run through a "proprietary program" to decide handicaps. The intention was a fair playing field for all. However, human interaction and intimidation became an issue.
When Anne Marie ran the timing run in Ft. Myer's, after the first 2 of 4 legs at full throttle, the timer, who also happened to be a race official (judge), expressed her discomfort with the CHT readings and the 100 rpm's over red line. So Anne Marie pulled back slightly, still over red line, because of the official's suggestion and discomfort. The timer/judge informed Anne Marie to contact another race official, who thought the engine may have an overheating problem. However, a handicap was given to us of 139.75 kts
At the terminus, we were excited that we received a phone call that the "Tiger" was to be inspected. Being called for inspection means that your team is in the the top twelve. However, there was a caveat. We needed to re-run the timing run in Frederick - a different place with different conditions.
Out to the Frederick airport Anne Marie went to re-run the handicap timing run at full throttle. Once again, she went past red line and left it there the entire timing run, leaving her hand off the throttle, which was locked in, thus suggesting that she was not moving the throttle. The timer on this particular run also commented on the high temperatures and over red line.
Later that day, we were to meet with the official timer to go over our leg times and any penalties. It was finally on our fourth attempt that he was finally prepared for us. (We later found out that 4 or 5 teams had to be re-run and handicaps discussed with the judges, therefore delaying the timer's results.) The timer informed us that neither of our timing runs would be acceptable and it would be up to the judges to determine the final handicap. He suggested that we request permission from the judges to re-run the handicap timing run for the 3rd time. We did ask permission of the judges and were denied. The timer did inform us that our numbers were EXTREMELY good and we had absolutely NO penalties - A CLEAN RACE!
To put things into perspective, a collegiate team was asked to re-run their handicap timing run in Frederick after they had already run on in Ft. Myers. Their handicap was increased by 6 kts. One does wonder how one can fly an entire race with an ever changing handicap???
The ultimatum presented to us by the judges was to either be disqualified (DQ), switch to the Non-Competition Class, or take a 15 kt. penalty derived by the judges. We opted for the penalty as we DID come all this way to race. We knew we raced a great race and a good, clean, fair, fun and safe race! In retrospect, Anne Marie realizes and takes full responsibility for cowtowing to the first judge's concerns and should have never pulled back......Live and learn.
So Friends, Family and Fans, that's how the 3rd place team finishes 42nd. We realize that this year was the first year of the new process and we appear to have been the handicap guinea pigs. In addition to the handicaps, there were also other penalties assessed and adjusted at the judges' discretion that many racers felt unfair - specifically monetary fines. Note to future racers - bring excess cash or, better yet, bring a checkbook because it is tax deductible!
THANK YOU to all of our sponsors! We made you proud! Special thanks to all the friends and family who took care of us on our journey to and from the race - especially in Gaithersburg. Dr. Mike not only hosted us but also hosted racing team #12 - Marie and Susan Carastro. THANK YOU Sauri Family for your WONDERFUL hospitality, your open bar and for chauffering us around town!!!
We are on our way home safely and avoiding weather. We will be home as soon as we can.

Thank you!
Julieann and Anne Marie

Thursday, June 24, 2010

We finished a day early!!!

Mama and Susan (left picture)

Adam (Anne Marie's nephew) with Monica (Anne Marie's sister)

Mama showing us her southern charm at the banquet!

Dessert created for us at old Ebbet's Bar & Grille.

Julieann and Dr. Mike (Anne Marie's brother)

Susan and Anne Marie

The White House

Julieann, Adam (Anne Marie's nephew), and Susan

Wow! What a trip!!!! We landed in Frederick, MD this afternoon after the fly by stop in Parkersburg, West Virginia. Dr. Mike, Anne Marie's brother, was there to meet and greet us.

We had a great time staying with Dr. Mike and his lovely family! THANKS!

We toured DC and just had a great time!

We made it to Elkhart, IN

Our first leg out of Cameron, MO was to Carbondale, IL. The folks were so helpful in both places. The young ladies, our Baby Birds, who we are mentoring for this race are from Carbondale - home of Southern Illinois University. The girls gave us SIU t-shirts and pens. They even called ahead so that we had someone local to talk to about lunch, etc. After lunch, we had a window of opportunity to make it to Elkhart, IN between thunderstorms. We did - thank goodness!
The storm came in as we were out to dinner with the Carastro's "kin folk" as Mama calls them. The power went out and the emergency generator came on at the restaurant. We waited for most of the storm to pass on through before swinging by the airport to see if the planes were put in to hangars and then back to the hotel for a good night sleep.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

We made it to Cameron, MO!!!

Hi race fans!
We left Ft. Myers, FL early this morning and made it to Waycross, GA. Then, we went onto Tuscaloosa, AL. From there, we pushed on to Hot Springs, AR and finally made it to Cameron, MO. We are tired!!!

The folks in the south and the midwest have been so friendly! We really appreciate the courtesy.



Monday, June 21, 2010

Race starts on Tuesday - 8am EDT

It's Monday night and we are doing our last minute prepartion for the race. We are going over charts, weather and packing our stuff for a quick departure in the morning. The first plane to take off is scheduled for an 8am departure. We are team 18 this year so we will be a little later.
We will write when we can..........
For more information about thte Air Race Classic - go to

If you are looking to buy and download Anne Marie's song, "See Her Fly," go to

In Fort Myers

Anne Marie, Susan, Julieann and Michael spent the afternoon on Sanibel Island. Michael was gracious enough to be our chauffer and photographer - even when there was a BIG storm brewing in the ocean behind us. Thanks, Michael! How many points do I get for that???

Our SIU Baby Birds - Sabrina and Heather
Go Salukis!

Anne Marie singing....again. :)
Good thing she brought the music. I don't think there was a dry eye in the house. Anne Marie is so talented!

Anne Marie, NASA and Susan

The Carastro's
Susan, her brother Michael and Mama

Daddy stayed in Alabama

Anne Marie and Susan

Mama and Michael

What a great time we had in Ft. Myers! We met our old friends, our new Baby Birds from SIU and met the other Flying Carastro - Michael, Susan's brother.