Rod Fite and Christopher Freeze, flying Race 7, a Cessna 182, won the 54th annual Hayward Air Rally with 119 points.
This was the first rally win for the duo.
The longest continually-held flying event of the type in North America, this proficiency challenge offers aviators the opportunity to demonstrate their airmanship skills of fuel planning and cross-country flight with or without the use of advanced navigation equipment. The goal: Get the least number of points, according to organizers.
This year’s destination was once again from Hayward, California (KHWD) to Reno Stead Airport (KRTS) in Nevada with the first leg stop in Redding (KRDD).
There are two classes of competition. The scoring system allows for the use of GPS navigation (and even digital fuel totalizers) and a scoring system for participants that elect to use “traditional” radio-based navigation aids even if their aircraft are GPS equipped, organizers said. The digital and GPS equipment must be covered up for the rally at impound for the traditional class, organizers add.
As a proficiency rally, the course is designed to exercise cross-country navigation and pilotage skills. Enroute checkpoints have included identification of such items as bridges, distinctive buildings, and unimproved — think emergency — landing strips.
Penalty points are accumulated for incorrectly identifying checkpoints, as well as deviating from time enroute and fuel estimates.
In the Traditional Class, time errors accumulate at the rate of one penalty point for each second off the pre-flight estimate. Fuel errors are scored based on a percentage error of actual fuel used vs. preflight estimated fuel required for each leg, rally officials explain.
In the Digital Class, time errors accumulate at the rate of three penalty points for each second off the pre-flight estimate. Fuel errors are scored based on a percentage error of actual fuel used vs. preflight estimated fuel required for each leg and multiplied by two.
In addition to the usual first to 10th place awards, several other special awards were handed out — at both ends of the spectrum — including:
- Best First Time Racer (Rookie): Race 17, Susan Royce and Diane Root ;
- Red Baron – Overcoming Adversity: No Adversity Encountered! Amazing.
- Most Lost (largest distance to a checkpoint): No One. No one got lost. Yea!
- Top Gun (highest % speed at a timing line): Race 4, Rick Emerian and Katie Stefanopoulos;
- Wright Flyer (lowest % speed at a timing line) Race 15, Ken Dyche and Hugh Gregg ;
- CAFE Efficiency: Race 11, RV10, Mitzi Saylor (again!);
- Worst Fuel Score: Race 3, Dan Van Dusen and Steve Loree;
- Tail End Charlie (highest total score): Race 12, Lee Boatright and Fred Baron ;
- Mike Halstead Excellence Trophy Masters Class: Race 24, Tim Ronan and Michael Saboff.
Proceeds from the rally fund scholarships for young adults to the EAA’s Air Academy in Oshkosh. The scholarships cover full tuition and roundtrip airfare.