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May 17, 2005 > Pilots race from Hayward to Laughlin

Pilots race from Hayward to Laughlin

by Jenny Donnelley

The Hayward Air Race, the longest continually held event of this type in the United States, is set for May 19. The proficiency event offers aviators the opportunity to demonstrate basic pilot skills of fuel planning and cross-country navigation without the use of advanced navigation equipment.

The racecourse is announced the day prior to the race and consists of two legs, each approximately 250 nautical miles. The first leg extends from Hayward (HWD) to Bakersfield (BFL); the second leg extends from Bakersfield to Bullhead City, AZ (IFP). Each contains multiple checkpoints, which must be visually identified. Prior to departure from Hayward each racer turns in estimates of their times and fuel consumption for each leg of the race.

Without the use of GPS, Loran, DME, RNAV or Digital Fuel Flow Meters, pilot teams are scored on their ability to precisely predict their flight times and fuel consumption en route to the two required landing points. Racers are scored on a combination of identifying check points, matching predicted time (to the second) and matching predicted fuel usage (to the tenth of a gallon). The lowest score wins. Penalty points are accumulated for incorrectly identifying checkpoints, as well as deviating from time en route and fuel estimates.

The race is open to pilots of single and multi-engine piston aircraft with a minimum range of 400 miles plus fuel reserve. Student pilots may participate if accompanied by an appropriately rated flight instructor. Copilots/navigators need not be licensed or be a pilot to participate. The basic entry fee of $350.00 includes pilot and co-pilot registration, two nights at the Ramada Express in Laughlin, awards banquet and weekend-long access to the hospitality suite.

For more information, visit the Hayward-Laughlin Proficiency Air Race web site at: or call (510) 293- 5462.

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