We have the first hurdles cleared-- pilot credentials checked and approved for us both, aircraft inspected and approved, and handicap-flight flown to establish our baseline airspeed. The object of the game, now, is, through precise flying and clever choice of altitudes with tailwinds, to beat that average speed. The airplane and crew that can beat its own speed by the biggest margin wins; that means even slow airplanes have a fair chance. So, this evening we'll be exploring the local science museum with a batch of Girl Scouts, and tomorrow seems to be fairly uncommitted until an evening barbecue. Sunday and Monday will start our briefings and official meetings. Tuesday we're off.
The inspection was amusing-- REALLY efficient. We pulled up to a hangar, and immediately a swarm of mechanics, all in day-glo chartreuse volunteer tee-shirts, converged on the airplane. Airplane cowling removed, one mechanic inside the airplane and half a dozen more guys with flashlights, wrenches, and/or clip boards began to check lights, engine, and other components, while three more pored over our fat aircraft log books. If we weren't confident of our airworthiness before, we are now!