Fayetteville hosts final leg of 2013 Air Race Classic

At least 47 teams of female aviators are set to touch down this week at the Fayetteville Executive Airport as part of the 2013 Air Race Classic.

The annual four-day, transcontinental event features all women pilots who fly several legs of the race making stops at different airports each year.

Joyce Wilson (left) and Dianna Stanger of Texas-based flight team Xxtreme Aviatrixx stand next to their Cirrus SR-22 at Calhoun County Airport in Port Lavaca, Texas last week in preparation for the 2013 Air Race Classic.

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The event, which began in 1977, aims to promote female roles in aviation and to encourage young women interested in becoming pilots.

This year’s race begins Tuesday in Pasco, Wash. and includes stops in Idaho, Utah, Wyoming, South Dakota, Nebraska, Colorado and Oklahoma.

Prior to the beginning of the race, pilots complete controlled handicapping flights of their stock aircraft at full power. Crews then fly against their handicaps, trying to best their own top speed as they fly from stop to stop. Each all-women crew features a pilot and copilot and may include additional team members. Over 80 women are included on this year’s list of racers.

The final leg of the 2,450-mile race ends in Fayetteville on Thursday and Friday. The public is invited to stop by the airport and watch the planes land as each team completes the race.