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December 31, 1997
The Hayward Air Rally is the longest continually held proficiency flying event in North America. Having grown out of a personal challenge between Hayward city officials in 1965, the rally has now been flying for 56 years! We are pleased to announce:
The 57th Annual Hayward Air Rally
To maximize flexibility for both event planning and rally participation, the Hayward Air Rally Committee has decided on using the one day rally format again this year. We will once again fly from Hayward to Bakersfield, then return to Tracy on the second leg.
Register now! Download the 2021 Registration Kit here
This year, we are hoping and planning to hold a post-flight social event Saturday evening after the rally. Details will be announced soon. Note this will not be the awards presentation! Despite the wonders of modern technology, scoring will not be completed quite that quickly!
Here is an outline of the rally weekend timeline:
- The race book (course description and procedures) will distributed as a PDF to all registered participants via email and made available on our website on Friday October 1.
- Rally participants are encouraged to arrive at HWD on
Friday afternoon to complete the inspection and check-in process.
This will decrease the inspection workload on Saturday morning and
improve our departure cadence.
- The mandatory safety and course briefing will be held
on Friday afternoon. The briefing will be conducted as a virtual event
by Zoom video conference – we hope to also offer the briefing as an
in-person/Zoom hybrid event.
- All remaining aircraft arrive at HWD on Saturday morning starting as early as 6:30 AM, no later than 8:00 AM (weather permitting).
- Impound/equipment inspection and fueling will be performed on arrival Friday afternoon and Saturday morning.
- Each team/plane will turn in their time and fuel estimates Saturday morning before departure.
- We will begin launching early arrivals at a designated time on Saturday, and others as soon as they are ready.
- Fly a standard Rally course with timing and fueling at BFL and TCY
- After completing the course and final fueling, racers can proceed to the rally social if desired (we hope you do!)
- Awards will be announced via video conference on Sunday evening October 3, 2021.
Obtaining the Race Book with the course information and attending the Zoom briefing require Internet access on Friday
Because we will not be hosting a full banquet event, entry fees will remain reduced this year. More details and registration information coming soon!
Countdown to the first starting flag:
What is the Hayward Air Rally?
The rally means different things to different pilots, but for all it's a combination of competition, challenge, and camaraderie. The event is open to all pilots (student and recreational pilots must be accompanied by a suitable pilot in command) and most piston-powered GA aircraft (including LSAs and experimentals).
The specifics of the rally course are released at the rally briefing. Participants flight plan for the course and produce flight time and fuel consumption estimates for each leg of the rally. Scoring is based upon the performance of the accomplished flight against the pre-flight estimates, course checkpoint identification, and navigation equipment used. Details on the competition structure may be found via the About links above.
While competition rules allow for the use of GPS navigation (and even digital fuel totalizers), many participants elect to use the scoring system that allows only "traditional" radio-based navigation aids - even if their aircraft are GPS equipped. 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.
Not everyone who flies in the rally is in it for the competition. For some, the rally is simply a weekend getaway with a group of great fellow aviation enthusiasts. The rally provisions a "hospitality suite" at the destination hotel where participants can gather to socialize, hangar fly, and boast or commiserate over competition performance. There is ample free time to explore local points of interest prior to the awards banquet on Saturday.
A portion of each year's rally entry fees goes to fund EAA Air Academy scholarships for local students. We hope to inspire the next generation of aviation enthusiasts through this educational program!
Whichever reasons appeal to you, we hope you'll join us at the starting line for this year's Hayward Air Rally! Entry information may be found here.
2020 rally format changeThe Hayward Air Rally Committee has been working on plans to allow the 56th Annual Hayward Air Rally to take place, albeit with several modifications from our normal format and schedule. The safety and health of our participants is our highest priority.
Many California counties and the state of Nevada have placed limitations on the number of people allowed to gather in places like banquet rooms. With these limits in mind and the expectation that they will not change significantly before our scheduled October dates, we are eliminating the hotel, hospitality suite and awards dinner for 2020. We will sorely miss the social part of the Rally this year; there is nothing quite like the hospitality suite and the (rarely accurate) tales of perfectly precise flying that are told there.
What follows is a summary of the changes we are planning for the 2020 Hayward Air Rally.
First and foremost we have opted to change the format of the Rally and not go to Laughlin, Nevada this year. It will be a one day event held on Saturday October 17, 2020 starting at Hayward, going to Bakersfield and returning to somewhere in Northern California (destination to be announced later).
For personal safety, facial coverings/masks will be required while on the ground at all points.
Here is the currently planned sequence of events:
- The race book (course description and procedures) will distributed via email on our website as a PDF file on Friday October 2 to all registered participants
- The mandatory safety and course briefing will be held via video conference (Zoom or equivalent) on Friday afternoon
Obtaining the Race Book with the course information and attending the mandatory briefing require Internet access on Friday
- All aircraft arrive at HWD on Saturday morning starting as early as 6:30 AM, no later than 8:00 AM
- A quick impound/equipment inspection will be performed on arrival
- Each team/plane will complete fueling and turn in their time and fuel estimates
- Each plane will launch on course as soon as they are ready
- Fly a standard Rally course with endpoint timing and fueling at locations to be announced later
- After completing the course and final fueling racers are free to head home or to the destination of their own choice
- Awards will be announced via video conference on Sunday October 4, 2020.
Since we will not have a hospitality suite, an awards dinner or several other expenses the entry fee has been reduced to $150.
The Rally has always focused on pilot proficiency, and it
is our hope that the event this year will provide you a
reason to fly with us and maintain your proficiency.
Update: Scoring rules
have changed for Digital Class. Fuel and Time
multipliers are now 1.5X for each score. This change
is based on a detailed analysis of Analog vs. Digital scores
over the last several years and is intended to reflect the
actual performance differences that we have seen.
The 56th Annual Hayward Air Rally
Was held October 17, 2020 from Hayward, CA (KHWD)
to a new NorCal Destination TCY (Tracy)
Congratulations to the 2020 winners:
Race 11 - Mitzi and Dave Saylor
Click on the links for complete information and results for the 2020 Rally
September 2017 AOPA Pilot Feature Article
"Racing Against The Plan" by Mike Collins
Scholarships to EAA Air Academy
Each year the Rally offers scholarships to deserving students to attend the EAA Air Academy. In 2015, we sent three students to camp! The scholarship includes both tuition and airfare. This is an expensive but very worthwhile aspect of the Rally - aviation education.
If you would like to support this effort, even if you can't join us for the rally, please consider making a donation to help us defray the costs. If you are a member of EAA and you or your chapter have unused Young Eagle Credits, we can use those too! Please contact us to learn how to transfer those credits to support the scholarships.
2016 Informational Video
The Rally awards much more than just 1st, 2nd and 3rd place. You can see some of the other fun awards for 2015 here.
Please use the links on the menu bar above to learn more about this annual event.