The Air Race Classic, formerly The Powder Puff Derby, is the epicenter of women’s air racing. Pilots range in age from 17 to 90 years old. They come from a wide variety of backgrounds including students, teachers, doctors, airline pilots, business owners, professionals and air traffic controllers. 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 timing point and then land at the terminus. The race route changes each year, approximately 2,400 statute miles in length with 8 or 9 timing points. Mary Mattocks (Willy) pilot and co-pilot Colburn (Colby) Helppie Schmeider will be competing in this year’s race in Willy’s beloved Piper Cherokee PA 28 140 hp with 160 hp conversion N222DL. The Air Race Classic Team is number 42 and is called The Magpies. You may have seen Willy’s plane as it has the number 42 on the cowl. The number 42 was applied for the 2019 race and she is afraid to take it off as fears all the paint will come off at the same time! This will be the 3rd time racing for Willy and 2nd for Colby Each team races against its own handicap. The handicap Flight for each plane is completed two weeks prior to the race start at 6,000 ft density altitude, hopefully in calm air, at full throttle, in a prescribed 4-legged course, North, West, South. East. Each leg is timed for 3 minutes. The handicap speed is then extrapolated from the data. Each team’s performance in the race is compared to their handicap flight speed This gives all the participants an equal chance. The race is extremely arduous as the weather is unpredictable and temperature and humidity high. Willy will be taking an Aero Club of Buffalo “FLYING BUFFALO” along for the ride and sending reports and photos when able so you can follow along her tracks.
Willy has had her pilot certificate since 1989 and is a member of the Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA) chapters 44 and 46 and to date has flown over 400 children individually in her plane for the EAA’s Young Eagles program see www.eaa.org She is also the President Elect of the Aero Club of Buffalo aeroclubofbuffalo.org, Chairperson of the Western NY chapter of the International Organization of Women Pilots, the 99s, www.Ninety Nines.org and a long time student of Ron Ciura’s Airframe and Power Plant evening class.(Very long time!) November 222 Delta Lima has faithfully taken Willy all over the United States and Canada and is primed and ready to get her to the start of the race Grand Forks North Dakota.
Colby is has around 2,800hrs. She got her flying start in General Aircraft, flying the DA-20 and then lots of different Cessnas after that. She still flies GA on the weekends for fun. On the civilian side, she has her Air Transport Pilot certificate and current 1st class medical. She is based in Panama City, FL (ECP)
We can be followed by going to the ARC website www.arc.org, (ARC team 42)
aeroclubofbuffalo.org, and flightradar24.com (N222DL)
Willy is looking for a co-pilot preferably instrument rated to assist in transporting her plane to Grand Forks North Dakota around 12th 13th June. He or she can log the time as PIC but will have to find own way back. If interested call 716 435 6132 or email firstname.lastname@example.org