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Transcontinental Glider Race Planned for 2003

Return to Kitty Hawk

Return to Kitty Hawk (RTKH) is a transcontinental glider race starting in the Los Angeles area on June 17, 2003 and finishing on July 4, 2003 at Kitty Hawk. It will have about 50 entrants spread among Standard, 15-Meter, Open, and Motorglider classes. It shall contain about 10 legs stopping at as many gliderports along the way as possible. We anticipate stops in Las Vegas, Phoenix, Las Cruces, Hobbs, Texas Soaring Assoc., St. Louis, Indianapolis, Dayton, Roanoke, Richmond, then, to Kitty Hawk from Manteo Airport. (about 5 miles away.) The National Park Service which owns the field where the Wrights made the first successful flights has made our arrival the highlight of the Kitty Hawk July Fourth Celebration.

The organizers are Jackie and Jim Payne on the West Coast and Linda and John Murray on the East Coast. They are Co- Organizers sharing all decision making, however the Paynes will be actively managing the western half of the race while the Murrays will take the eastern duties.

Why a Transcontinental Glider race? What a great way to commemorate the Wright's first flight at Kitty Hawk and share a real life adventure! The race is intended to promote soaring while having as much fun as possible. As such the organizers are working with Larry Tuohino to get as much media attention as possible for this "Ididerod of Soaring." It will be scored and trophies awarded, but it is hoped all participants and soaring in general will be the winners.

The classes will rotate just as any other contest, with start circles opening 15 minutes after last launch in class. Guest pilots will launch at the back of the grid.

Class size has not yet been determined and probably will be governed by interest with one major exception. Of the 50 total entrants, we hope to attract 20 self launch motorgliders which have a preferred entry status. It is believed this strong self launch class will be a real help in our ability to launch the fleet with the available tow planes in the desired one hour. Non Self launch ships will be considered as sailplanes. The organizers reserve the right to give priority to entrants that will increase media attention. (Celebrities such as Platypus, youth, etc.).

If there are more than 50 pilots wishing to participate, the SSA Seed list shall decide the entry list. If you do not make the official cut or only wish to participate for a few days, you are very welcome to participate from the back of the grid. Fees shall be pro rated relative to the entry fee (about $100.00 per day) If you are a club member of the daily host club you may participate for your usual daily tow fee, billed directly to the club.

This entire adventure hangs on our ability to get tow planes. We plan to have about four tow planes travel with the pack. We are counting on local support for the remaining towplanes. To keep the accounting simple we propose to pay about $50 per tow with the intent that each tow pilot make enough tows to cover expenses. Aero retrieves will be at a price agreed to ahead of time (approximately $1 per statue air mile) but billed directly between tow pilot and towee. If we have any profits we will provide additional support for the tow pilots who volunteer for this plan. (Doubtful there will be any!)

If you are interested in this deal as a tow pilot, please contact us. We have commitments from Dan Gudgel, Jeff Cloud, and Jeff Byard for the whole trip and Cole Frantz for the eastern half. Doug Jacobs will lend his 182 to qualified pilots for the entire round trip. Talk to Doug or John Murray if this is of interest to you. DJ's 182 must go round trip from/to Rhode Island.

Entry fees: Costs at this time are very preliminary and therefore subject to change. Estimated entry fee for sailplanes is $1,100.00 and for self-launcher is $500.00.

Deposit: A $500.00 deposit is required. It will be refundable until March 31. After that it will be non refundable if your place is not taken by another. We regret this seemingly harsh position, but we need to be assured we will have the planned number of entrants once we commit to tows.

Entry: Send a completed RTKH entry form and $500 deposit made out to "Return to Kitty Hawk" to:

Return to Kitty Hawk, c/o Eastern Sailplane
P.O. Box 753
Waynesville, OH 45068

Entries will be by seed list if necessary, but we need to know how many would like to attend as soon as possible. Please register soon.

Jim and Jackie Payne

John or Linda Murray


Posted: 8/24/2002 By: General News

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