1800 Mile US Air Race

Piper Cherokee placed 3rd in National 1800 mile Air Race.


It’s the classic Tortoise and the Hare story. Wanda Zuege, CFII, ATP and John Thompson, local pilot at the Stevens Point Municipal Airport, raced a Piper Cherokee 1800 miles across Kansas , Colorado , South Dakota , Montana , Minnesota and home to Stevens Point , Wisconsin . The “Cherokee Chariotte” without wheel pants had a top speed of 125mph raced against 11 other airplanes with top speeds ranging from 156mph to 297mph. A. M. R. & D. gap seals, vortex generators and modified wing and prop tips were the only performance modifications used.

The racing goal is not to arrive at the finish first but to average the highest speed above the plane’s top speed. Pilots must meticulously plan their routes to take advantage of weather and wind speeds and avoid straying off course.

Out of the 12 racing teams, nine averaged higher than their plane’s top speed. Flying a homebuilt Glassair, the first place racing team, Mike Jones and Richard Vandam, averaged 13.6 mph faster than their plane’s top speed.

Representing Stevens Point’s flight School, Am I High Aviation LLC, Wanda Zuege and John Thompson, captured 3rd place with an average speed of 8.1 mph above their plane’s top speed. Third place netted the team $1200 and a trophy that can be seen at the Stevens Point Airport terminal. They were also recognized by Plane and Pilot Magazine as the 2006 Best Placing Rookie Race Team trophy and by the New Piper Aircraft for Best in Piper Fleet trophy for the highest scoring team flying a Piper airplane.

In addition to flight instructing, Wanda offers accelerated ground school and flight training for the Private Pilot and Instrument rating. See website for details. www.amihighaviation.com.


Wanda Zuege, ATP




John Thompson, CFII




Pat Keefer, President

U. S. Air Race



Art Mattson

A.M.R. & D. performance mods



Published Articles:

Published in Cessna Owner Magazine

Published in Pipers Magazine

Click here to see HOW TO ENTER THE U. S. AIR RACE.

Click here to see RACER 2 INBOUND


Press Releases:

  • Portage County Gazette
  • Midwest Flyer Magazine
  • NAFI (National Association of Flight Instructors)
  • Stevens Point Journal
  • City of Stevens Point
  • Fly-Low PublicationsPrivate2ATP.com
  • Aero-News.Net
  • US Air Race
  • Air Racing: NAA endorses timing method, Cherokee 140 team to race, Returning Champions, HUT hosts Comanche Fly-in, …

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