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Sixty-Four Planes Carry on Transatlantic Air Rally

June 20, 1985

NUUK, Greenland (AP) _ Sixty-four light airplanes in the Transatlantic Air Rally marking the centennial of the Statue of Liberty began taking off from the Nuuk airport this morning after a one-day rest.

About 70 planes set out from Morristown, N.J., last Saturday for the flight to Paris. But several dropped out on the first three legs of flying over the Arctic.

The nine-day, 4,200-mile rally is aimed at symbolizing the friendship between the United States and France. It was scheduled to end in Paris next Sunday after two more stopovers.

The departures for the next stop, Reykjavik, Iceland, began at 9 a.m. and were expected to take four to five hours to complete since the Nuuk airport cannot handle more than 10 to 15 take-offs per hour.

The Airport Flight Information center reported an overcast sky and a slight wind, but the conditions did not affect departures. However, the small Kulusuk airport in eastern Greenland across the icecap from Nuuk reported fog which might delay smaller planes needing refuelling there.

Reykjavik’s Keflavik airport reported clear and sunny weather over Iceland, and the fastest, jet-powered planes were expected to make the flight in less than two hours. But most will be underway for four to six hours.

The rally is not intended to be a race. Everyone must wait at each stopover airport for the others to arrive or drop out. Then, they take off for the next leg the following day.

The Nuuk flight center said all of the planes that reached Greenland on Tuesday were still in the rally. Damages repaired at Nuuk were one flat tire and a propeller problem.

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