Hayward Air Rally

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Rules and Regulation Governing the Rally

The Race Rules and Regulations have been updated to reflect the Analog (aka Traditional) and Digital Classes.  Important scoring system changes are also implemented starting in 2008, they are specified in the rules and a summary may be found here.

Also Analog and Digital Classes are now allowed separately for Navigation and Fuel scoring.




A.  PILOTS: Must possess and carry with them their own
  1. Airman's certificate, Sport Pilot or higher. 
    • Student Pilot certificate holders must be accompanied by an appropriately-rated CFI, and the CFI will be the Pilot in Command. 
    • Recreational Pilot certificate holders must be accompanied by a CFI or a Private Pilot or higher, who will function as Pilot in Command.
    • Sport Pilot certificate holders must have any required endorsements for the airspace to be used, typically Class D, and the aircraft flown.

  2. Current FAA Medical Certificate, as required by the FARs, for the type of license held by the Pilot in Command.  No pilot or medical certificate is required for co-pilots and passengers.

Note: Pilots are responsible for operating within the limitations of their type of pilot license and aircraft limitations in accordance with all applicable FARs.


  1. Allowable aircraft include Light-Sport, normal, utility, or experimental category (as defined by the FAA) civil aircraft powered by reciprocating engines with a minimum range of 400 miles plus fuel reserve as required by the FAR's.

  2. In compliance with the FAR's, all participating aircraft must have a current airworthiness certificate; including either an annual maintenance inspection or a 100-hour inspection, whichever is appropriate. Any aircraft or pilot found to be in violation of this or any other FAR, will be subject to disqualification.

  3. All aircraft not falling in the above categories will be given special attention by the committee. The committee will notify the pilot at the close of registration as to the acceptance of these aircraft in the race.

  4. All aircraft may optionally carry and turn on a Committee-approved and configured GPS data logger. It is the responsibility of the crew to verify that the GPS data logger is turned on at or before engine start of the Rally. The GPS location and time data collected and recorded may used to assist in scoring each entrant at checkpoints along the course and the departure and arrival timing lines. The data logger must be given to the designated Rally official at the end of the Rally so that the data may be downloaded for scoring. The use of the GPS data logger is optional, but strongly encouraged by the Committee as the data can be used to improve and/or verify scores.


  1. The minimum required avionics equipment is an operable Mode C transponder, ADS-B Out and an operable two-way communications radio with 720-channel capability.

  2. Use of VOR and ADF is permitted in the Analog Class.
  3. The use of any type (installed or portable) of GPS, LORAN, DME and electronic/moving map displays are prohibited during the race.

Note: Use of and Electronic Flight Bag, portable electronic map displays or similar device is likely to require entry in the Digital Navigation Class. All Analog Class entries are strongly encouraged to have a complete set of current paper navigation charts.


The use of any type (installed or portable) of digital fuel flow meters, fuel computers, fuel totalizers, are prohibited during the race.

Analog Class Notes: Prohibited instruments installed in the aircraft will be covered and temporarily disabled for the race, along with any other equipment the race Committee feels would give the user an unfair competitive advantage.  Racers are encouraged to provide their own covering of prohibited instruments.  At aircraft impound, the Committee will use the smallest possible amount of wax sealant to provide verification that the covers remain in place for the duration of the race. Tampering with, or removal of, the Committee-affixed disabling covering, or the use of prohibited portable devices, during the course of the race is grounds for disqualification.


  1. The minimum required avionics equipment is an operable Mode C transponder, ADS-B Out and an operable two-way communications radio with 720-channel capability.

  2. The use of VOR, ADF, GPS, LORAN, DME, and moving map displays is permitted.  Such equipment may be either permanently installed in the aircraft, or a portable device, such as a hand-held GPS receiver, a mobile phone or tablet computer with internal or external GPS capability.


  1. The use of digital fuel flow meters, fuel computers, and fuel totalizers is permitted.

Digital Class Notes: The Digital Class allows (but does not require) the use of digital navigation and/or fuel equipment.  The scoring rules for these classes apply regardless of whether the equipment is installed in the aircraft; use of portable devices requires entry in the Digital Class.

Digital Class Notes: The use of a portable Attitude Heading and Reference System (AHRS) that displays GPS data requires entry in the Digital Class, unless the GPS-derived data can be covered or disabled on the display.

Each entrant must specify in which of the Classes they will compete  at aircraft inspection/impound prior to receiving the materials that specify the race course.  Once the race materials have been received by an entrant, the class of entry may not be altered.

Any entrant who has previously been awarded first place in two races will automatically be entered in the Masters Class. Masters Class entrants will compete only other members of the Masters Class for the Mike Halstead Excellence Trophy.  Masters Class entrants must also specify their class of entry (Analog or Digital) at impound and will be scored according to the rules of that class.



A. ENTRY: The following forms must be completed, signed, and accompanied by all necessary fees before race assignment is made:

a) Entry application

b) Pilot and passenger liability waivers

c) Aircraft insurance declaration

Aircraft will be registered and inspected/impounded the day prior to the rally flight and depart Hayward on Rally day morning, making a mandatory fuel stop at the Intermediate Airport , passing multiple checkpoints, and terminating at the Endpoint Airport.  The Intermediate and Endpoint airports for each year are announced by the Committee on the Rally's website and via other publications.


B. ASSIGNMENTS: Early applications will be acknowledged upon receipt. Flight assignments will be verified in writing immediately after the close of registration.

C. RALLY NUMBER: Each aircraft will be assigned a rally number upon acceptance of the pilot's application. The pilot will be responsible for having that number affixed to the following locations prior to registering the aircraft at impound :

a) both sides of the vertical tail or aft portion of the fuselage, and

b) on the lower outboard surface of both wings.

The affixed numbers must be in sharply contrasting colors when compared to the basic paint design and registration number on your aircraft, with minimum dimensions of 20 inches minimum height and width. Using a four-inch wide stroke, make simple, basic block numerals.

No protest regarding mistaken identity will be honored if your race number does not comply with the above requirements regarding size, color and application.

A document summarizing and depicting the number Rally Number requirements is available here.

Note: We use 'Race number xx' as a radio call because it is a nod to the history of the event, and the use of a 'Race Number' during the Rally is an approved FAA procedure when communicating with Air Traffic Control facilities as described in the Rally Book.

D. INSPECTION/IMPOUND: Starts at 1200 PDT on the day prior to the Rally flight day. All aircraft must be parked in their assigned race spot at the Hayward Executive Airport no later than 1800 PDT the day prior to the Rally flight day unless otherwise authorized by the Rally Committee.

Each aircraft to be flown in the race will be inspected for prohibited navigation and fuel instrumentation.  Any instruments installed in the aircraft that are prohibited for the class of entry must be covered so that they may not be utilized during the race.  The Rally Committee will use a small amount of wax (or similar) sealant so that the coverings may be inspected to prove that they have not been removed or tampered with prior to the termination of the race.

Each person acting as Pilot In Command (PIC) for the race is required to present the following documentation to complete the impound process:

  • Pilot's certificate
  • Current medical certificate - as required by class of license of the Pilot In Command
  • Proof of currency (meaning BFR or other information such as new rating) to act as PIC

Each entrant must specify in which of the Classes they will compete at aircraft impound prior to receiving the materials that specify the race course.  Once the race materials have been received by an entrant, the class of entry may not be altered.

Refueling, or "topping off" fuel tanks, is not permitted on Friday morning prior to launch without express approval from race officials.

The committee has the right to inspect all aircraft from inspection/ impound until the posting of the race results at the terminus of the event.

Race materials specifying the procedures, mandatory checkpoints and timing points will not be provided to entrants until after the impound process is complete.

At, or prior to, impound, each entrant will be provided with a Rally Crew Handbook (aka P.O.H.). The Rally Book contains all of the procedures, course data, special radio procedures, timing lines and checkpoints required to complete the Rally.




B. Fuel Level. The pilot will determine the proper level of fuel added to his aircraft by visual reference. No fuel measurement devices other than a simple non-calibrated fuel dipstick with a single fuel-level mark, may be used unless special permission has been given by the race committee as a result of potentially unsafe weight and balance conditions, or an irregular configuration of the filler neck. Use of dip sticks or measuring tubes with multiple graduations is not permitted.

No fuel tanks may be partially filled at any time, either at the beginning or the end of the race, unless the fuel level is even with 1) a built in marker in the tank or 2) the marked level on the dipstick. Otherwise, all tanks will be either full or empty at the beginning of the race, and after completion of refueling all tanks on the aircraft must be in the starting configuration. An official at Hayward will inspect all aircraft and note on the fuel log that the tanks are either full, empty or even with the reduced fueling "tabs" or other factory-installed marks or a non-calibrated dip stick as described above. A copy of this log will be given to the pilot, and this form must be presented to the appropriate fueling officials before your airplane can be refueled in Intermediate and Endpoint airports.

C. Fueling Process. The pilot may position the aircraft as desired for fueling provided it is not moved from the parking space. All fueling areas will be on hard surfaced ramps. Before and during re-fueling, the pump meter must be covered until such time that the pilot is satisfied the level of the fuel in the tank is correct. When the pilot so states, the meter will be uncovered and the quantity pumped recorded. Be absolutely sure that your fuel level is correct before you notify the official to uncover the meter. No further fueling will be permitted. This rule applies to both the intermediate and endpoint airports.

D. Fueling at the Intermediate airport is mandatory. Fueling will be supervised by the pilot. After refueling, the pilot will notify or signal the rally official that he/she is ready to start the engine. The race official will then signal the pilot when he/she can start their aircraft engine. To save fuel you will not be signaled to start engines until you can proceed directly to the run-up area.

Maximum allowable time from engine shutdown to engine start at the Intermediate airport   will be ONE HOUR. This is required due to the FSS Flight Plan filed on your behalf by the Race Committee. In the event of mechanical problems or other difficulties which are deemed reasonable by a committee official, additional time will be allowed. Please be advised that any extra time on the ground at Intermediate airport may cause you to go "overdue" on your flight plan on file with FSS.

E. Once inspection and impound of the aircraft is completed at Hayward, including refueling, further refueling, or "topping off" fuel tanks, is not permitted (on the day of the Rally) prior to launch without express approval from and supervision by Rally officials.  Authorized Rally officials include the Race Chair, Race Scorer, Statistician, or the Race Starter.

F. FUEL ESTIMATE ADJUSTMENTS. Adjustments (a.k.a., a fuel vector) to the leg fuel estimate may be made prior to fueling at the intermediate and Endpoint airports. The adjustment may be for additional fuel only, not reduced fuel. The adjustment request must be declared and entered on the scoring form and given to the Rally official prior to the start of the fueling operation. Some reasons to adjust fuel may include: if you are vectored or forced to deviate from your planned route by ATC, for safety reasons, or are forced to do a go-around at the arrival airport.


The Rally course is designed and flown in two legs. Each leg includes a starting point, mandatory checkpoints, an airborne timing point and an ending airport. The checkpoints are identified by answering multiple-choice questions. The course is different each year. The course is designed by a designated Rally Committee member and is not revealed to any participant until the briefing on the day before the Rally is flown.

Prior to departure on Rally Flight Day, each entrant must complete the estimates portion of the scoring sheet. This includes time and fuel estimates for each leg. Time estimates are in hours, minutes and seconds. Fuel estimates are in US gallons and tenths. Each leg of the Rally is scored separately.

All competing aircraft start with a score of zero points. Penalty points are then assessed for the following areas of interest:

  1. Timing
    1. Analog Class: Time errors accumulate at the rate of one penalty point for each second different from the pre-flight estimate.
    2. Digital Class: Time errors accumulate at the rate of 1.5 penalty points for each second different from the pre-flight estimate. Each leg score will be rounded to the nearest whole point.
    3. Each leg is scored separately, and the cumulative raw time error is totaled in the final scoring calculations. An early time error on one flight leg does not get canceled out by a late time error on the other leg.

  2. Fuel
    1. All Classes: Fuel errors are scored based on a percentage error of actual fuel used vs. preflight estimated fuel required for each leg. Penalty points are assigned whether the aircraft uses more or less fuel than estimated for each flight leg. For using more or less fuel than preflight estimate, three penalty points are assigned for each one tenth of one percent (0.1%) difference, as determined by "difference from estimate" divided by "preflight estimate". Each leg is scored separately, and the cumulative fuel error is totaled in the final scoring calculations. An under-estimate fuel error on one flight leg does not get canceled out by over-estimate fuel error on the other leg. This fuel percentage scoring method accomplishes two criteria:  (1) it places a priority on fuel management; fuel is scored more heavily than time errors and (2) larger-engine, high-fuel-burn aircraft can compete fairly with smaller-engined, highly-efficient aircraft.  Fuel scoring formula:

    2. 3 * (1000 * (gallons estimated fuel - gallons actual fuel) )/ gallons estimated fuel.

    3. The result will be rounded to the nearest whole point.
    4. Digital Fuel Class: The fuel score for each leg as computed above, is multiplied by 1.5.  This multiplier is applied to all entrants in the Digital Fuel Class regardless of equipment installed.

  3. Other Penalties
    1. 100 penalty points will be assessed for any aircraft not ready for engine start at Hayward. The penalty may be waived at the discretion of the committee if the delay is due to a mechanical problem with the aircraft.
    2. Penalty points (250 for each checkpoint) will be assessed for failure to pass and identify any mandatory checkpoints designated on each flight leg.
    3. 300 penalty points will be assessed if the aircraft is seen orbiting or circling, for any reason, within sight of either timing line.
    4. After passing the final timing point on each flight leg, aircraft are expected to reach the landing airport at a speed of at least 50% of their Rally cruising speed . Speeds of less than 50% are subject to a 100 point penalty.
    5. Additional penalty points may be assessed at the discretion of the committee for offenses such as: violation of Temporary Flight Restrictions (TFR), violation of Class B, C or D airspace, illegible race numbers, flagrant disregard for the spirit of the rules, or flight practices resulting in hazards to other aircraft.

  4. Total Score.
  5. Time, fuel, and penalty points for each leg will be added, with the lowest total points being considered the winner.

  6. Other Scoring Notes:

Time will be calculated from the take-off signal (visual or radio) at Hayward (explained in the pilot's handbook) to the airborne timing point near the Intermediate airport, and from the takeoff signal at the Intermediate airport to the airborne timing point near Endpoint airport.

No "time off" will be given by the tower. Every pilot is responsible for recording their own time off. Pilots are advised to consider taxi time to all points plus fuel consumed between passing the airborne timing point and landing.

Mandatory Checkpoints.  The purpose of the mandatory checkpoints is to insure pilots fly the same approximate route.  The checkpoint answers are not meant to deceive participants and in most instances can be easily answered by passing overhead without the need for circling.  However, in the event a race aircraft cannot positively identify the correct answer, circling to the left is permitted.  Caution should be employed when in the vicinity of any check point.  In the event that a crew is unable to identify any answer which may be correct, write down everything you observe at the check point and/or take a photograph of the checkpoint.  If the Air Race scorers can determine from your written response or photograph that you were over the correct checkpoint, credit will be awarded.

Bonus Checkpoints. At the discretion of the course designer, each leg may also include a bonus checkpoint. A bonus checkpoint offers the opportunity to gain back points. A bonus checkpoint may be a standard visual checkpoint with a multiple choice question. It may also be a latitude/longitude (potentially with no visually identifying marks) that must be approached within a specific maximum distance. It may also be an airborne timing point that must be arrived at at a predicted time. Other possible bonus types are at the discretion of the course designer and are described in the Rally Book.

Scoring Ties - In the event of a tie score between two or more aircraft, the lowest fuel error for the first leg will break the tie. Should a tie still exist, the lowest fuel error for the second leg will be used. Should a tie still exist the most accurate first leg time estimate shall break the tie.

Scoring Example - An entrant may choose different entry classes (Analog vs. Digital) for each of Navigation and Fuel, the following example assumes Analog or Digital for both Navigation and Fuel. An entrant declares the following pre-flight estimates for each flight leg: 

  • Estimates:
    • Leg 1- 2hr 00min 00sec and 18.0 gallons fuel.
    • Leg 2- 2hr 15min 00sec and 20.0 gallons fuel.
  • Actual Performance:
    • The actual enroute times and fuel burn for this hypothetical example were:
      • Leg 1 - 01:59:30 with 17.5 gallons, and 
      • Leg 2 - 02:16:00 with 20.5 gallons.
    • One mandatory checkpoint was missed on the second leg.
  • Time Scoring:
    • Analog Class:
      • Leg 1 is 30 seconds early for 30 points 
      • Leg 2 is 60 seconds late for 60 points
    • Digital Class:
      • Leg 1 is 30 seconds early for (1.5*30) = 45 points
      • Leg 2 is 60 seconds late for (1.5*60) = 90 points
  • Fuel Scoring:
    • Analog:
      • Leg 1 is 0.5 gallons (2.8%) over-estimate error, worth 83 points.
      • Leg 2 is 0.5 gallons (2.5%) under-estimate error, worth 75 points.
    • Digital:
      • Leg 1 is 0.5 gallons (2.8%) over-estimate error, worth (1.5*83) = 125 points.
      • Leg 2 is 0.5 gallons (2.5%) under-estimate error, worth (1.5*75) = 113 points.

  • Checkpoints:
    • One mandatory checkpoint missed on second leg is 250 point

  • Leg Scores:
    • Analog Class:
      • Total Leg 1 (30 for time) + (83 for fuel) ) = 113 points
      • Total Leg 2 (60 for time) + (75 for fuel) + (250 for missed mandatory checkpoint)  = 385 points
    • Digital Class:
      • Total Leg 1 (45 for time) + (125 for fuel) ) = 170 points
      • Total Leg 2 (90 for time) + (113 for fuel) + (250 for missed mandatory checkpoint)  = 453 points
  • Final Score:
    • Total Cumulative Score for an analog (Navigation and Fuel) Class (113+385) entrant: 498 points
    • Total Cumulative Score for a Digital (Navigation and Fuel) Class (170+453) entrant: 623 points

All aircraft scores are then ranked in order of penalty points accumulated.


A. APPLICATION: Entry application, along with all required waivers and fees must be mailed to the committee in Hayward on or before the close of registration - please refer to the information packet for dates, addresses and fees.  The committee reserves the right to close registration before the date shown if a "sold out" situation should develop regarding lodging, facilities, etc.

B. WITHDRAWAL: The Race Committee has found it necessary to institute a withdrawal fee, which will be charged to all applicants who withdraw after a certain date.  This has been necessitated by the fact that in order for the committee to provide the many services on race weekend, we have had to commit in advance financially in many instances based on an anticipated number of contestants.  Only by working in this manner can we run this race at the minimum cost that we do.  Naturally, the closer to race day that a cancellation is made, the more difficult it is to withdraw arrangements which have been made in your behalf.

C. TAKEOFF CONDITIONS: The race is conducted in VFR conditions.  Should weather conditions force cancellation of the race, refunds will be made on a pro-rated basis after a final accounting of expenses.  Launch of the first aircraft is scheduled for 0800 PDT, weather permitting.  In the event of IFR conditions, departure will be delayed until the race committee determines VFR flight is possible.  Departure time for each aircraft must allow sufficient time to enable arrival at the Endpoint Airport by 1900 PDT.  As of this editing (09 May 2022) no race has been canceled due to inclement weather even though the start time has been delayed.

D. RULE CONCURRENCE AND VIOLATION: Remittance of entry fees with a completed and signed application constitutes total acceptance of all Hayward Air Rally Rules and Regulations and no protest regarding the appropriateness of these rules will be honored.

It is required that all pilots will fly their aircraft and plan their flight in accordance with any and all applicable FARs and the rules of the race, which includes proper documentation of the aircraft and licensing of the pilot, as required by the FAA and the FCC.

Any violation of the regulations mentioned may be considered grounds for disqualification and forfeiture of entry fees.

E. AUTHORITY: In the event of any doubt as to the meaning or interpretation of any of the rules and regulations, a decision of the committee is final. In the event of extenuating circumstances, the committee may interpret rules liberally in the case of a specific contestant, providing an unfair advantage is not thereby granted. It is not the position of the committee to disqualify any contestant on the basis of trivialities or technicalities which do not have a direct bearing on the outcome of the race, provided they do not involve a willful violation of the rules and regulations.

F. RESPONSIBILITY: All participants and guests in the Hayward Air Rally are responsible for any and all charges incurred by them as individuals at any point in the race unless specifically advised by the committee. For example, all hotel rooms and other costs at/near the Endpoint airport are the responsibility of the individuals. All guests are expected to check out of the hotel and pay any and all additional charges accrued to their room(s).




  1. All protests involving contestants other than the protesting pilot must be in writing, and must be submitted to the committee within one hour of the arrival of the last race plane in Endpoint. The race scorers and responsible committee members meet the night of Rally Flight Day to consider any problems observed during the race, protests filed, and other issues. A response to the filed protest will be provided prior to the awards party. The decision of the Race Committee is final and there is no appeal.
  2. All protests involving the scoring of the race must be in writing, and be submitted to the committee within 72 hours of the conclusion of the rally.  The committee and scorers meet in June to debrief the race, and scoring protests are considered at that time.  The results of the protest review will be provided in writing in a reasonable time.  The decision of the Race Committee is final and there is no avenue for appeal.


  1. Race numbers that are unreadable over timing points may be cause for disqualification because if you cannot be identified, you cannot be timed. Although the timing crews make every effort to positively identify your aircraft prior to arrival overhead the timing line, "NO RECORDED TIME" is automatic disqualification.
  2. Failure of fuel tank configuration to correspond after fueling at Hayward, the Intermediate airport, and the Endpoint airport, or the addition of fuel to tanks reported empty at Hayward.
  3. Any change to, or modification of aircraft, or deviation from good pilot practices and techniques which may be considered by the committee as purposeful violation of the spirit of fair play.
  4. Tampering with digital fuel flow device covering.
  5. Tampering with navigational devices covering, or any other covering which has been affixed by race officials at impound.
  6. Failure to cross the timing lines.
  7. Any known violation of FAA Regulations.
  8. Refueling without truck meters covered and/or without the presence of Race Fueling Officials.

SECTIONAL CHARTS REQUIRED  (No charts will be available at the registration desk.)

  • San Francisco
  • San Francisco Terminal Area Chart (optional)
  • Klamath Falls Sectional