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Here we go again .... another race year, another great adventure!
Terry featured on Karlene Pettit "Friday Flyer" segment.
Read the story HERE.
February 2013: With Wild Mama down for the
count, race preparations have slowed to a crawl. Entry is complete. Check. Race number 11 purchased. Check. Route planning
done. Check. Google Earth googles. Check. So now we .... wait.
have 44 teams registered and raring to go for the race and there is still over one month left until the race entry deadline.
There are 12 collegiate teams - 5 of which are in the top 10 race numbers. Team Wild Mama is checking out the competition
to see how many planes we will be passing off the starting line. Being number 11, we will be fast off the block and hot on
other racers tail pipes until the pack starts to thin out.
At this point, I am getting a bit concerned about the
amount of actual flight time Ellen and I will be able to get in before the race to do out race test flights. With the new
engine, we will have a good learning curve for both engine monitoring and performance and fuel burn. Vern promises the plane
by May 1st but this is still precious little time to make our runs. Time is ticking and it will be tight.
April 15, 2013: She is up and flying. Wild Mama
is back in the air and humming along just fine. It is time to make the break in flights now then head to the handicap flight.
All of the other preparatins have been made. There is nothing more that Ellen and I can do until Wild Mama
is fully ready for her tests.
May 11th: A good sign, indeed. After nearly 6 months,
we are finished with the engine conversion project and nearly race ready. The only thing lacking is the detailing which is
scheduled for Monday morning. Numbers are installed, all the flight testing and break in is completed and the only bugs that
remain are stuck firmly to the cowling awaiting their removal. We have been in touch with Marvin, our handicap pilot, and
will be making the first, and hopefully only successful, attempt at a handicap flight Friday. With 36 days left to race time
and less than 3 weeks prior to departure, it is about time we had an airplane to fly. I am pleased with the conversion results.
May 17th - Handicap Flight Complete:
On a beautiful calm Friday morning, Vern and I departed from X14 to Clearwater to meet Marvin Guthrie, the handicap check
pilot. Unlike last year, I knew that the flight was going off on the first attempt. The wind was calm, the sky was clear and the
conditions were forecast to continue for the remainder of the morning. We arrived just after 0700 at Clearwater and met
Marvin. Vern supervised the fueling of Wild Mama while Marvin supervised me cleaning out the plane so it was
in "proper" configuration. He verified tanks topped and off we went out over the Gulf. The winds remained calm - no more than 5 kts - at altitude and the infamous handicap box was completed in short
order. After a quick debriefing, Vern and I loaded up Wild Mama and headed back home to debug and park her
until Ellen and I leave for the race. She is now officially "race ready".