Women pilots soar into Ada during cross-country race
ADA, Okla. (KTEN) — Women from around the world are competing in the 45th annual Air Race Classic this week, and Ada Regional Airport is one of the eight stops along the route.
"It's been cool seeing the pilots push the plane to its limit and see what it's capable of, and being able to see all of the terrains in all of the different states has been really cool," first time Women's Air Race Classic participant Elaine Stook said.
The race began Tuesday morning in Lakeland, Florida, when 115 women pilots — including teams from Oklahoma and Texas — embarked on the 2,000-mile cross-country competition.
"The first leg, everyone talks about how stressful the first leg is because there are so many airplanes taking off at once — taking off and passing each other and stuff — but it was really nice because everyone was talking to each other, and we have our own frequency we talk on, and everyone communicated really well," said competitor Sadie Morgan. "It actually went a lot smoother than I expected."
Before reaching the finish line in Terre Haute, Indiana, teams make eight stops. Ada Regional Airport was selected as one of the locations for racers to fuel up or stay the night.
"Getting to meet all of the women pilots; they have great backgrounds from college teams all the way to one lady who is 93 years old, the oldest racer ever who will be here tomorrow on a mother-daughter team, " Ada Race Stop Chair Bill Holland explained.
This was the first year one team of college aviation students competed in the race, and so far, they have learned a lot.
"It's cool to meet all of these women because sometimes it's hard to be a woman in aviation because sometimes I'm the only woman in my class," Morgan explained. "So getting to listen to them and hear about their triumphs and tribulations has been really incredible."
Teams can only fly during daylight hours and must cross the finish line by 5 p.m. Friday.