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View the Picture Gallery for the 2006 Race.
Each of the race's two legs includes:
- 1 Start Point
- 3 Mandatory Checkpoints
- 1 Timing Point
- 1 Stop Point
The checkpoints, and therefore the course, change every year. Only the start (HWD), the fuel/lunch stop (BFL) and the end (IFP) points remain the same. The required checkpoints which define the course are announced the day before the race (see the race schedule) at the briefing and are documented in the race book provided to each team. The exact course flown is chosen by the pilot of each aircraft. Remember, this is not a speed race, it is a proficiency race; accuracy counts.
So that prospective racers can get better idea of the
provided during the briefing, a copy of the 2006 Race Book may be downloaded here (PDF format 1 MB).
Checkpoints are to be overflown by race aircraft. Each checkpoint can be adequately identified from the air. The two timing points at Checkpoint Mike and Checkpoint Bette are also overflown and race officials on the ground will record the time overhead the timing line.
The 2006 course is described here to provide an example only, the 2007 course will be different, and will not be announced until the day before the race during the briefings. The 2006 course included the following checkpoints and stops:
- Hayward (HWD) - Race Starts
- Merced (MCE)
- Firebaugh (F34)
- New Coalinga (C80)
- Checkpoint Mike (35-33.5N, 119-11.6W) - Timing Point
- Bakersfield Meadows (BFL) - Landing, Fuel and Lunch
- Agua Dulce (L70)
- I-15 Rest Area (35-01.99N, 116-28.21W)
- Fenner (34-48.97N, 115-10.92W)
- Checkpoint Bette (35-00.829N, 114-38.256W) - Timing Point
- Bullhead/Laughlin (IFP) - Landing, Fuel, Race Ends
Approximate 2006 Race Course:
Each checkpoint has a question to be answered to ensure positive identification. A typical checkpoint question looks like this:
Overfly above 3500'
Lat 36 deg. 09.79'
Long 120 deg. 17.693
At New Coalinga:
G. A control tower is under construction.
|H. The runways are closed and unusable (looks like a mine).|
I. Runway 1/19 numbers were painted at wrong ends; had to be blacked out and redone!
The checkpoint at new Coalinga looked like this from the air:
So, the answer was: I. Runway 1/19 numbers were painted at wrong ends; had to be blacked out and redone!