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Letter: UND Air Race team went above and beyond

To the editor, I would like to commend the UND Air Race Classic Team for their eighth-place finish in the Air Race Classic last week. The skill, determination and sportsmanship that Dana Atkins, Emma Kishel and Jenna Annable exhibited in the cock...

To the editor,

I would like to commend the UND Air Race Classic Team for their eighth-place finish in the Air Race Classic last week. The skill, determination and sportsmanship that Dana Atkins, Emma Kishel and Jenna Annable exhibited in the cockpit is a testament to their character. Dakota Osborne, another team member, and coach Erin Roesler provided logistic support prior to, during and after the race.

The racers were also aided by UND Aerospace Flight Operations. Specifically, Maintenance made sure the aircraft was ready to fly, Dispatch scheduled and released the aircraft during the ferry flights to and from the race location and during the race, and Line Operations made sure the aircraft had the necessary equipment for the race. Funding for the team came through a grant provided by Rockwell Collins and donations secured through a crowdfunding effort. Rockwell Collins also allowed an employee to provide support during the race.

Finally, I would like to recognize the effort made by the nine members of the Weather Team. The team was comprised of graduate and undergraduate students in both the Atmospheric Sciences and Aviation Departments at UND and provided weather support during the race. A handicapped air race is won by flying faster than the airplane's average speed. It is essential that the pilots of the race team know how to maximize their tailwind and minimize their headwind as well as safe routes to circumnavigate thunderstorms. The forecast team awoke at 3 a.m. daily to provide a morning briefing for the racers, monitored their progress during the day, and provided an evening briefing to plan the next day's routes. The hard work of the Weather Team enabled the racers to finish second out of over fifty airplanes when considering ground speed alone.

Congratulations to the entire UND Air Race Classic Team for going above and beyond.

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Fred Remer

Associate professor

UND Atmospheric Sciences

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