by Art Williams, co-pilot, Race 77
Fred Baron and I were sorry to miss the last Chapter 1027 meeting in
Booneville. We had to decline Bryan Whittakers hospitalitly due to a previous
entry commitment in the Hayward Air Rally
. (Editor: No official meeting of EAA 1027 was held as many members were unable to attend.)
For those of our members who are not familiar with the event this year was
the 45th annual rally. I have only participated in it the last 4 years and am
not well versed in the history, But many of the early rallies where Hayward to
Las Vegas with a stop at Bakersfield. The Rally takes several days, only one
day is flown against the clock and the gas pumps. The sequence goes something
Sometime from mid May to mid June about 30 teams show up at Hayward
Executive on a Thursday afternoon. The Rally official checks you in, and covers
your GPS and Fuel Flow Guage if you have one. They are covered if you
enter what they call the "Traditional Class". There is a Digital Class (There
were 3 Digital Class entries this year) in this class you are free to use this
fancy stuff, but you have a stiffer scoring system. Your airplane is then
fueled by you and is impounded for the night. There is a BBQ in the hanger
area and where you can get to know new teams and relax with old time racers.
Now it is Thursday at 4 in the afternoon there is a pilot briefing. This is
where you pick up the rally kit that includes the the check points you must fly
over while you traditionally "dead recon" or Digitally follow the little
airplane. After the pilot Briefing you retire to a local motel to plan and
crunch numbers for the course.
This year the route took us tp Redding for timeing, refueling and a box
lunch, and then on to Bend Oregon with seveal diffirent locations you must
locate in route. Some of these check points you must positively identify and
some are to sequence you in for the timeing points.
Friday morning finds you turning in your estimated time and fuel useage for
the two legs, and attending a weather/Notams briefing with donuts and
Friday 8am you are at your airplane for photographs and preflight. 9am is
the target for first departure with about one minuet intervals between aircraft.
Your time is measured from the time they drop the flag for your take off roll to
a point just outside Redding Air Space. A similar arrangement is set up for
departing Redding and arriving in Bend Oregon.
Finally it is Friday morning just after nine am weather permitting and you
are climbing by Livermore and headed for the first checkpoint in the valley
(This year it was Amador Co. airport). Now you have to find it and identify it
and then on to several more check points before starting a 15 mile run in for
timing. We have been flying for 1 hour and 48 mins. and we are just east of Red
Bluff now Fred our pilot calls in to the timers "Race 77 is 15 miles out,
lights on, inbound for timing. The timing line was on Lake California airport
runway and all airplanes had a waver for a low pass (we were eight seconds
early"). Next it was get up to pattern altitude and call Redding tower enter
thier airspace, land, taxii, and shutdown. Rally officials meet the airplane
and observe refueling. You can refuel your own airplane, but the truck meter
must be covered (Race 77 was 0.2 gallons under our estimate when the meter was
uncovered this is okay, but not great).
We went into the terminal and the Redding 99's prepared a nice box lunch
for 10 dollars (part of their fund raising effort). Then it is a final check of
weather and off again departing Redding runway 16 and in our case we choose the
west of Mt. Shasta route up I-5 to Weed and across to Klamath Falls area for the
first of several check points in route to Bend. Some isolated thunder storms
with lighting now and again were near enough to our route to cause use a little
zigging and zagging. Then once again it was find the timing run initation point
15 miles out form a dirt strip called Goering. We find this place which is store
on a local highway by the name of Milikan I think. Now it's call in again to
let the timers know that race 77 diving at them and you will be there pretty
soon with all lights on. Race 77 was 4 seconds early.
Now it is climb to pattern altitude get on the common freguency and enter
Bend traffic. A Thunder storm north of the field dictated a landing on 34 which
was good because the winds also favored 34. Okay we are almost done now we
land, taxii up, shutdown and the Rally official verifies our GPS and Fuel Flow
are still covered and sealed; Then we refuel with the same procedure used at
Redding with the covered meter, etc. (Race 77 was 0.6 gallons over on fuel for
this leg this is bad). The rally official now takes our documentation of the
route check points and refueling information. Now it's tie her down, Cover her
up, and head to the local hotel in transportation provide. This year we stayed
at the Shilo Inn in Bend. very nice right on the river.
We check in, and then we areoff to the rally hospitality suite for beer,
wine, soft drinks,cold cuts, finger food. This is where we get a look at aeral
photos of the check points we were suppose to locate. We relax if they look
like the ones we identified in route this is very good. We try to look relaxed
if the photo doesn't look like where we were, because we don't want people to
know we missed it. Missing is bad it is 250 points for each miss. By the way
you start with zero points which is good and all you can do is get worse from
Now the fun begins, pilots being pilots they can not help but talk about
the flight and share experiences. The trouble is pilots being pilots they do
not always share the truth, so it's a game of trying to figure out is that guy
realy good or is he just trying to worry you while you try to cover your
performance and learn as much as you can from the others. You won't find out
your actual performance until the next evening at the awards banquet. Friday
evening your on your own and Saturday you are on your own, but can you sign up
for some local activities. This year was golf, river rafting, or a tour of the
Epic "Home Built" Aircraft factory.
Fred and I took the Epic
tour given by the company owner it was very
interesting. They had about 8 aircraft on the assembly bay floor and about 3 in
the flight test area. These are experimental aircraft and must fly off the
restriction time just like Fred's Lanceair and my RV. The attached address will
direct you to more information on these 1.4 to 2 million dollar kits.
night we had a no host cocktail hour and a buffett dinner followed by
the awards. They had a guest speaker who had made two
flights in lawn chairs carried aloft by ballons his name was kent
Couch look him up on line. Dinners over and everyone is on
the edge of the chair to see where they placed in this years rally.
There are many different awards some are sponsored by various
organizations. As an example the Redding Airport Manager provided a first,
second, and third place award for lowest combined time diviation from your
estimated for the two legs. Remember Race 77 had a combined time miss of
12 seconds, which was about 6th place for this award first place missed by 5
Some awards are real and some a comical like the highest points. This year
the highest points was 9022.
Fred and I in Race 77 (Fred's Lancair 320) came in third with a total point
score of 171 this is 12 points for time and the rest for fuel. This was our
personal best to date. First place was a Grumman Tiger with 90 points and
Second place was a Bananza A36 with 166 points. This year the aircraft were all piston engines including Lancair 320, an
RV-10, an RV-9A, numerous 170,172s, 177, 182, T210, Tri Pacer,ercoupe, a couple
of Tigers, Bonanzas, Beech Sierra, Cherokee, etc.
A great way to get out and try your pilotage skills with a great group of
people and the rules permit taking some of your friends with you, aircraft
permitting. Passangers can be carried at a nominal additional fee. The pilot
and the co-pilot (not required, but strongly recommend) are covered by the entry
fee. So, about next February if you are starting to look for a flying get-away
you should consider putting together a team to join the fun. This rally is a
great opportunity for you experienced pilots to take along a new pilot or
another experience pilot who is not current.