The first of 51 teams of female pilots taking part in Air Race Challenge have landed at Niagara Central Dorothy Rungeling Airport in Pelham, Ontario. The airport is the terminus for the race, which ends Friday. A major event will be held at the airport on Saturday. Most of the two-woman crews are expected to be on hand for the event, which will include a plaque dedicated to Rungeling, who was known as “The Flying Housewife” when she was a participant in air races in the 1970s. There is one Canadian team in this year’s race made up of Asti Livingstone, of Niagara-on-the-Lake, and Susan Begg, of Ottawa, flying in Begg’s Mooney M20J.
More than a third of the participants in the race, which has been held 43 times since the 1929 Women’s Air Derby, which became known as the Powder Puff Derby are all-female teams from U.S. university aviation degree programs. Amelia Earhart was among the participants in that race. This year’s race started in Tennessee and looped through the South before heading north through the Midwest before crossing into Canada at Sault Ste. Marie with another stop in North Bay before ending at the finish line in Welland.