Valley pilots will all-women Air Race Classic

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By Catherine Holland By Catherine Holland
By Catherine Holland By Catherine Holland
By Catherine Holland By Catherine Holland
By Catherine Holland By Catherine Holland
By Catherine Holland By Catherine Holland

PHOENIX -- Two Valley pilots won the 2013 Air Race Classic last week and landed at Mesa's Falcon Field with the trophy.

Marge Thayer, 70, flew her Cessna in the 2,400-mile race that began in Washington State, ending four days later with the contestants landing in Arkansas.

There were 47 teams registered for the race. Thirty-three of them finished.

Thayer's co-pilot, Helen Buelen, says she learned a lot during the flight from the veteran.

Thayer has competed in 28 Air Race Classics,  which is also known as the Powder Puff Derby. She says it's all about the camaraderie and fun with the ladies.

The pilots were given a hero's welcome as two WW ll planes joined up in formation to welcome the winners home.