UPDATE: New Air Race Classic route in place because of storms, won't come to JamestownAirport and tourism officials in Jamestown are disappointed after weather forced a change in route for the Air Race Classic that bypassed Jamestown.
By: Keith Norman, The Jamestown Sun
Airport and tourism officials in Jamestown are disappointed after weather forced a change in route for the Air Race Classic that bypassed Jamestown.
The Air Race Classic was scheduled to start from Iowa City, Iowa, this morning with stops in Brookings, S.D., Jamestown and Spearfish, S.D., before continuing south through Nebraska on its way to a finish in Mobile, Ala.
The race’s new route starts in Alliance, Neb., Wednesday, heads south to its first stop at Great Bend, Kan., and then continues to Mobile.
“They are bypassing Jamestown and all the other stops in the Dakotas,” said Matt Leitner, Jamestown Region Airport manager. “The conditions weren’t good for the type of flying they do.”
The Air Race Classic consists of teams of two or more women flying by visual flight rules. That means the pilots must be able to view the ground at all times.
Leitner said the ceiling, which is the level of the bottom of the clouds, was below 1,000 feet above ground level with embedded thunderstorms and winds this morning.
“It was below VFR minimums,” he said, referring to Visual Flight Rules for aircraft.
Leitner said while the air race was not a spectator event, several groups looked forward to it.
“It was disappointing to those groups and people that volunteered to help out,” he said. “The folks at Zonta, the Civil Air Patrol, First Class Aviation and Buffalo City Tourism had done so much to make the stop these women were scheduled to make in Jamestown memorable.”
Sun reporter Keith Norman can be reached at (701) 952-8452 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org