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95-year-old among female pilots that flew into Cadillac in air race

A 95-year-old pilot was among the 100 female pilots, landing at the Wexford County Airport in Cadillac for the second stop of the 47th Annual Air Race Classic.

The airport manager, Keith Newell said the race traces its roots back to the 1929 Air Derby, which aviation icon, Amelia Earhart and 19 other female pilots raced from Ohio to California.

Newell said 49 aircraft stopped and fueled up in Cadillac before heading to Ohio, and then their final destination in Loveland, Colorado.


Newell said it’s important to highlight races like today.

“There’s a definite shortage of females in the aviation industry. And it’s important that we promote that to, women just as much as we promote it to men. So, this is just one of the activities we do here at the airport that promotes careers in aviation,” said Newell.

95-year-old Marie Carastro from has been a pilot since 1957, getting her license when she was in her twenties.

She said she always wanted to fly and didn’t give up when she was told she couldn’t join the Airforce, that was back after World War II. Carastro said women couldn’t join as pilots.


She said she persevered and eventually got her license, and she continues to fly today.

Carastro said females can do anything a man can do.

“I think it’s ridiculous. Oh. Glass ceiling. Do what you want to do. If you want to do it, make it happen. It can happen. So, make it happen. Don’t give up. That’s what I did, when they told me no, did I give up? No. I tried to find an avenue where I could, and I went to the place where they did,” said Carastro.

Newell said the stop in Cadillac was one of ten for the Air Race Classic.

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