Burlington is stop on cross-country air race

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(Host) There’s more than just stormy weather in the sky today.

Nearly a hundred female pilots are flying across the state in a four-day cross country race. 46 teams of two left Oklahoma City on Tuesday.

They make 8 stops along the route before finishing tonight in New Brunswick, Canada.

Burlington International Airport is one of those stops.

Louise Phillips and Kelly McCague entered the race from Southern California. They were grounded in Burlington by the storms last night as they tried to make their way north, but they didn’t seem to mind the delay.

(Phillips) “We’re the hot mamas from Borego. It’s cold here but it’s hot in Borego. I called the other day and it was 112. The rain is very refreshing since we don’t have rain.”

Women’s air racing has been a fixture in American skies since the late 1920s. The annual race became known as the Powder Puff Derby after World War II.

While it’s not as popular as it once was, the Derby continues now as the Air Race Classic. And Louise Phillips, who was born when Amelia Earhart was still flying, says that early spirit of adventure still lives in today’s female pilots.

(Phillips) “It keeps your mind working, it keeps me young. So it is a special thing.”

(Host) The race ends at sundown this evening.

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