Published On: Mon, Jun 3rd, 2013

“Team Pretty Woman” Revs up for the Air Race Classic

The Air Race Classic is an annual all women cross-country air race. The 2,459mi route includes multiple stops between Pasco, WA to Fayetteville, AR.

Houston resident, Jessica Vinson and her airline pilot pal, Bailey Ryan will be competing in the 2013 Air Race Classic. We are thrilled to share our adventure with you, both leading up to and during the race!!!

*The History* – The Air Race Classic is an all women’s cross-country air race that covers over 2,400 miles. The first all women’s air race, known as the “Women’s Air Derby,” was held in 1929. There were 20 competitors in the first air race, including Amelia Earhart. It has become an aviation tradition and now has 55 teams competing. For more race history, visit http://airraceclassic.org/historyt.asp

*The 2013 Race* – The race starts in Pasco, WA on June 18, 2013 and end in Fayetteville, AR on June 21, 2013, covering 2,459 miles. To view all the stops along our route, visit http://airraceclassic.org/2013race.asp
“The Air Race Classic is the epicenter of women’s air racing. Race teams, consisting of at least two women pilots, must fly VFR during daylight hours only and are given four days to make flybys at each en route stop and then land at the terminus. The race routes change each year and are approximately 2,400 statute miles in length. Each plane is flown in race configuration to determine its handicap speed – and the challenge for each race team is to achieve actual ground speeds as far over the handicap speed as possible. The pilots strategize to play the elements, holding out for better weather, winds, etc. The objective is to fly your “perfect” cross-country. In this type of race, the official standings are not known until the final entrant has crossed the finish line. Indeed, the last arrival at the terminus can be the winner!” (Taken from http://airraceclassic.org/files/officialDocs/A-01a_Race_Route_Flyer.pdf)

*The Plane* – N182PW, aka “Pretty Woman,” is a 1979 Cessna 182Q. At 230 HP, she came in 14th Place last year and flew like a dream!

*About Jessica* – Jessica Vinson is a born and bred Texan currently living and flight instructing in Houston, TX. She began flying in her hometown of Abilene with an incredible instructor (Bailey!) who taught her the joy and passion that is flying. She achieved her Private and Instrument while attending Hardin-Simmons University for two years. Since then, Jessica attended Louisiana Tech University to pursue her degree in Professional Aviation. At Tech, Jessica danced on the Regal Blues Dance team, was a member of the La Tech Flight Team, a Louisiana Tech Who’s Who, and Miss Congeniality and third runner up in the Miss Tech Pageant. It was also there that she met the love of her life and fiancé, Ricky Garcia, also a pilot! Jessica is thankful for her incredible family who have encouraged and supported her throughout every stage in life. When Jess isn’t flying, she loves to travel, cook, do CrossFit, and cuddle with her kitties and African Grey, Aggie.

*About Bailey* – Bailey Ryan, a Tennessee girl, started chasing her dream of flying during high school. She met her first aviation goal when she flew a plane solo on the day after her 16th birthday… before even driving a car solo! In high school, she also became a licensed skydiver, and currently has over 130 solo freefall skydives! She continued her flight training at Middle Tennessee State University (MTSU). In college she served as President of both the Women in Aviation Chapter and the MTSU Skydiving Club. She finished her MTSU Aerospace degree in three and a half years, and then spent several years flight instructing around the country. In Texas, she was paired with her flight student Jessica, who quickly became one of her best friends! In 2011, she was hired as a pilot for Pinnacle Airlines. She moved back to her hometown of Memphis, TN and spends most of her time in the air flying a CRJ200 50-passenger jet. She loves having wonderful family and friends all over the world who really add to life’s adventures! When her feet are on the ground, she loves doing anything outdoors, playing volleyball, and cooking. Her “babies” are two Weimaraner dogs, Otto & Copper, and a parrot, Spruce. Her sweetheart, Harrison, is also a pilot for Pinnacle Airlines, and shares Bailey’s passion for life and aviation!

Air Race Classic, Inc. is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to:
•Encouraging and educating current and future women pilots
•Increasing public awareness of general aviation
•Demonstrating women’s roles in aviation
•Presenting and promoting the tradition of pioneering women in aviation

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