The adventures of Jacksonville University flight students Amanda Suter and Katja Jourdan as they took part in a four-day, 2,128-mile air race from Pasco, Wash., to Fayetteville, Ark., are recounted in a June 26 article in The (Longview, Wash.) Daily News.
Here’s an excerpt:
“Between the dust storms, thunderstorms, mountains, turbulence and cows, Winlock native Amanda Suter will never forget flying in last week’s Air Race Classic.
“I feel like I could do whatever I needed to in almost any situation by myself,” said Suter, a licensed pilot and U.S. Naval officer-in-training who aspires to be an air ambulance pilot one day.
On June 18, Suter and her college classmate/co-pilot Katja Jourdan took off in a borrowed Cirrus SR20 to fly through a series of eight checkpoints across the U.S. They were one of 47 teams in the all-female-pilot event, in which competitors try to beat their own best speed by the biggest margin (based on a timed handicap flight) in the plane of their choice. However, because most pilots encountered headwinds the whole journey, Suter said, only two teams ended the race with positive overall scores.
Pilots were allowed to fly as many legs of the race each day as they want, but only during daylight hours, and they had to adhere to visual flight rules (they couldn’t fly into the clouds).
“The whole race in general is such a good idea to get women together,” said Suter, who logged about 50 flight hours during the event. “It’s amazing. Some of these ladies were 70 years old. … I thought that was pretty cool.”
Although Jourdan plans to fly the Air Race Classic again next year, Suter can’t participate because she starts Naval flight school in May.
“I’ve got the rest of my life to do it again, so hopefully I’m going to do it again — in my own airplane,” she said.