Ann Pescatello & WPF
One of Alameda County, California Chapter 99s, Ann Pescatello, only took up flying a few years ago but she's making up for lost time. In May 1996 she flew in the Hayward - Bakersfield - Las Vegas Proficiency Air Race where she and her fellow pilot finished 9th overall. In September - October of 1996 she served as a navigation judge at the World Precision Flying Championships in Fort Worth, Texas. This was only the second time the WPFC has been held in the United States (the first time was in Kissimmee, Florida in 1985).
The WPFC in the United States was hosted by The 99s. And a great job they did, too, says Ann. The WPFC welcomed 22 teams from around the world to Fort Worth with a parade complete with floats and a mariachi and Mexican banquet at the Old Stockyards in Fort Worth. Through the week of three days of Navigation competition and three days of Landings, the work was hard and the days long. Most everyone was up at 4:30 a.m. and at the airport by 6:00 a.m., briefed, on location, and ready at their gates or places by 9:00 a.m.
The day did not end until 6:00 or 7:00 p.m. Most evenings dinner was followed by de-briefings and complaints. The final evening prior to the banquet and awards was spent at a ranch some distance from Fort Worth, where everyone enjoyed a barbecue, line dancing, and a rodeo until late into the night. Ann particularly enjoyed meeting teams from different countries, visiting at lunch and dinner with many of the contingents. She noted that most teams did not have women pilots (probably because most teams were comprised of professional and test pilots from countries that have not yet a developed network of female pilots). But the U.S. team boasted two women pilots, one of whom has twice won the best female pilot in the WPFC competition. This year the honor was won by the only female pilot of the French team. But Ann reserves special kudos for the Canadian team--all women!! And she recommends that if you ever have the opportunity to attend or participate in a WPFC do not hesitate to seize that opportunity.