The Air Rally

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Hayward Air Rally Scoring System

This page provides a summary of rally scoring. In the event of any discrepancy, scoring is governed by the formal rules and regulations of the rally.

The Rally competition is scored primarily on fuel and time (navigation). The use of digital instrumentation to measure fuel flow and navigate offers a performance advantage in this scoring system. This advantage is allowed, but is offset by scoring handicaps when digital instrumentation is used. The following table summarizes the current scoring system, with more detailed discussion of the various elements below.

Digital Class Analog Class

60 points for each percent of deviation from estimate.

30 points for each percent of deviation from estimate.

Note: fuel points are assessed in 1 point increments based on fuel measured to 0.1 gallon.

Standard Checkpoints

250 points for each missed checkpoint.

Bonus Checkpoints

When present in a rally course, identified bonus checkpoints offer a small deduction to the points accumulated.


Penalty points may be assessed by the rally committee for violation of FARs or rally rules.

Lowest point total wins!


For scoring purposes, flight time is calculated from a visual take-off signal at the departure airport to a designated timing line. The signaled start time will not be given over the radio, so it is each crews responsibility to note the time of the take-off signal. Note that the start time is specifically not when the aircraft begins its takeoff roll or lifts off. If the rally crew feels it is operationally necessary to linger briefly on the runway following their start signal, they may do so, but their clock is running!


For scoring purposes, fuel consumption is calculated from engine start at the departure airport to shutdown at the arrival airport. Aircraft are to be fueled to a declared level (full, tabs, etc.) at impound, and refilled to that same level at each destination. Crews should therefore consider including anticipated taxi time in their fuel estimates.

Mandatory Checkpoints

Penalty points will be assessed for failure to pass and identify mandatory course checkpoints. These checkpoints are typically ground features that are easily identified from the air, such as airports, bridges, or a distinctive building. On occasion a checkpoint will only be identified by latitude and longitude. This can be a challenge to both Analog (how to get there with pilotage?) and Digital (how to program a coordinate waypoint into the GPS) crews!

Bonus Checkpoints

On occasion, bonus checkpoints are offered on a rally course. These checkpoints are optional, and typically more challenging to locate, but correct identification offers a small deduction to the crew's accumulated point total. When present, the details with respect to a bonus checkpoint will be described in the course handbook.

Entry Classes:

Each rally team will be required to specify their rally class at aircraft impound, prior to receiving the Rally Book containing the course information.

The Rally recognizes two different classes of entries:  

  • Analog
  • Digital

Each entrant may select Analog or Digital for each of:

  • Navigation
  • Fuel

On the score sheet, each entry selects either Analog or Digital for each of Navigation and Fuel:

Fuel Digital Analog

In the case of a multiple day rally, as we had in 2014 for our 50th anniversary, the same selections must be made for every day of the Rally. Classes may not be changed for different days.

In addition to the above, rally crews who have won the event twice are assigned to the Masters class.

All non-Masters class entrants in any fuel or navigation class compete for the same set of prizes and trophies. Masters class entrants compete amongst themselves for the Halstead Trophy.

The Digital Classes allow the use of electronic instrumentation such as GPS or other digital navigation aids and the use of digital fuel flow and totalizers.  If it's installed in the aircraft you can use it!  Handheld GPS is also allowed, if you are registered in the Digital Class.

The rally classes will be determined by the pilot's choice of equipment s/he will use during the rally as follows:

Class Digital Analog

Electronic fuel flow and/or totalizers are permitted.

Analog instrumentation only.  Electronic fuel flow or totalizers are not permitted.

A Discussion about iPads:

  • All iPads have WiFi and Bluetooth
  • Even a WiFi-only iPad can easily talk to an external device (Stratus, DUAL, BadElf, etc.) over WiFi or Bluetooth
  • Only the iPads with cellular capability (activated or not) have built-in GPS
  • You can't really not use the GPS portion of a wifi device such as a Stratus and just get weather out of it - the (Foreflight in particular, the only thing that works with a Stratus) software shows all of the data, all of the time. There is an Off switch on the software to not use the Stratus GPS data. We use the honor system for this sort of thing. However, if you want to use an iPad+Stratus, you will need to be in Digital Class.

If you want to use a WiFi-only iPad and NO other device (Stratus, BadElf, etc.) then they have an electronic replacement for a paper chart. ANY other addition (even a cellular-capable iPad) or device puts you into Digital Class.

Scoring Handicap

To allow all entrants to compete for the same awards and trophies, regardless of entry class, the committee conducted a detailed analysis of prior rally scores to determine an appropriate handicap for each class.  The premise is that the more (electronic) help the pilot has, the bigger the handicap applied.  As a proficiency rally, we want to reward pilot skills more than the pilot's ability to punch numbers into equipment or read a digital fuel display.  While a number of handicap factor adjustments were made following the introduction of Digital class, the current scoring handicaps have been in place since 2008, and the rally has had a number of Digital class participants place in the top 3 positions as well as winning the competition outright.


The scoring system has changed a bit over the many years this rally has been flown.  A brief summary of those changes may be found here.

Scoring Example

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 (3*30) = 90 points
      • Leg 2 is 60 seconds late for (3*60) = 180 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 (2*83) = 166 points.
      • Leg 2 is 0.5 gallons (2.5%) under-estimate error, worth (2*75) = 150 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 (90 for time) + (166 for fuel) ) = 256 points
      • Total Leg 2 (180 for time) + (150 for fuel) + (250 for missed mandatory checkpoint)  = 580 points
  • Final Score:
    • Total Cumulative Score for a Analog Class (113+385) entrant: 498 points
    • Total Cumulative Score for a Digital Class (256+580) entrant: 836 points

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