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CAP Cadets Take Part in Air Race Tradition

Maj Capobianco and C-Lt Ambrose
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Maj Capobianco and C-Lt Ambrose of the Hickory Composite Squadron performing access control duties. Photo Credit 1st Lt Roger Auscue, CDC, MER-NC-162. (click image to view full size)
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Hickory, NC played host to a leg of the 2015 Air Race Classic.  The Race is also called the "All Women's Cross Country Air Race," and can trace it's origins back to the 1929 Women's Air Derby.  The Derby was put on by a group called the "Ninety Nines" and was founded by Female Air Pioneer Amelia Earhart.  Each team must consist of at least two women pilots, ranging in age from 17 to 90 years old and from a diversity of backgrounds.  The route changes each year but is normally 2400 statute miles in length.  Pilots must fly VFR Only and during daylight.  The crews have four days to complete the route, with each leg of the route being timed.  The aircraft are normally stock or minimally modified and can have no more than a 600 horsepower engine.
Civil Air Patrol Cadets and Seniors from the Hickory and Iredell Composite Squadrons, (NC 124 and NC 162) were on hand to provide crowd and traffic control support for the event.  Two Cadets and one Senior were posted in locations around the Flight Operations Building and the entry points to the flight line to prevent unauthorized persons from entering and interfering as the race planes were refueled and serviced.  Ms Susan VanFleet, owner of VanFleet Aviation, one of the organizers of the Hickory Leg of the Classic, thanked CAP members for their work and attention to detail.  Ms VanFleet sponsors internships at differing times of the year, and refers young people that are interested in aviation to the Civil Air Patrol.  After the event began to wind down, CAP members were given lunch and a bag with souvenir items.