The Baldwin Family Flyers before the race at the start in Concord, Calif. From left, are Caroline, Cara and Lydia, all Baldwins.(Courtesy Photo)
Silver City resident Caroline Baldwin and her daughter, Lydia Baldwin, and granddaughter, Cara Baldwin, finished 15th out of the 48 airplanes that started the 2014 Air Classic Race.
The 2014 Air Race Classic began its race in Concord, Calif., on Monday, June 16. The final stop was New Cumberland, Penn., which some airplanes reached on Wednesday, June 18, and the other finishers reached it on the final day of the race on Thursday, June 19.
"We think 15th is fantastic," Caroline Baldwin said. "Forty-eight planes started and 31 finished. Most of those that did not finish on time were stopped by weather. Some came in after the deadline. A couple left planes in Nebraska and then one came on by commercial air and the other team rented a car."
She said the banquet Saturday evening was "a fine event with 290 attending."
"The race was a great adventure with many challenges, mostly weather challenges of avoiding clouds, rain, snow," Caroline Baldwin recounted.
The planes are required to fly by visual flight rules, so the pilots and co-pilots must be able to see where they are going.
"My plane performed perfectly. Because of storms, we had to delay in Elko, Nevada," Caroline Baldwin said. "We arrived there on Monday afternoon and could not leave until Wednesday morning. About 15 other teams were there with us, watching the weather all day Tuesday and hoping to get out. When we arrived at the airport at 5:45 on Wednesday morning, we found our planes covered with ice. So, clearing them of ice delayed our departure.
"On Wednesday, we completed 4 legs—just barely," she continued. "We arrived in Iowa City—our fourth leg that day—58 seconds before the deadline. We knew we had to do 4 legs that day or we would not have time to complete the race on Thursday."
But complete it they did, successfully, without problems, just adventures and challenges.