The Outback Air Race began in 1996 as a concept created by the fund raising division of the Royal Flying Doctor Service (WA Section). Essentially it is not a race, rather a time trial, which provides a considerable flying challenge, but is conducted in a safe and efficient manner. The aim of the Air Race is to raise funds for the RFDS and to provide an exciting and unique flying holiday for pilots from throughout Australia, New Zealand and overseas.

The Outback Air Race is not strictly a race, but rather a time trial and navigation exercise. Throughout the race, participants will accrue points by correctly estimating the time it will take them to fly from a designated start point to a designated end point during each day’s race leg, and will lose points for failure to exactly find and overfly the start and finish points. This ensures that crews of slower aircraft are not disadvantaged.

The event provides an exciting and unique flying holiday for pilots and their friends from throughout Australia and overseas. The Outback Air Race will typically comprise a fleet of up to 25 aircraft and 60 people. The race route varies from event to event, although it is guaranteed to encompass a picturesque and rugged route, covering some of the most scenic and spectacular geography in Australia.

Experienced pilots, the RFDS and a dedicated team of organisers are organizing the race; it is fully endorsed by the Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA).



Each team will provide a flight plan and race note at the beginning of each leg, complete in all details including estimated time interval for that leg. All flight plans and race notes must be handed to the race director or his delegate no later than 30 minutes prior to the scheduled departure time of the first aircraft.

The position of the pre-designated start and finish feature will be notified at or prior to the daily briefing, given as both a visual reference (eg. a bridge) and bearing/distance from the departure and arival aerodromes. Timing will commence when the aircraft is closest (horizontally) to the start point and end when the aircraft is closest (horizontally) to the finish point.

Deviation from the route will be allowed to enable teams to enjoy scenic opportunities, visit relatives, or whatever they fancy. As the race committee will be holding flight notes for search and rescue purposes, the intended route must be detailed in the flight plan of the day and Air Services Australia notified as per the A.I.P. of any diversion from the route.

For each race leg, teams will nominate an elapsed time interval and a point will be lost for every second early or late over the check point. Additionally points are lost dependent on the actual passing distance from the start or finish point.

All aircraft must cross the pre-designated feature in cruise configuration and approach the checkpoint at no more than 10nm either side of the direct track. This is a safety requirement. Under no circumstances may aircraft orbit or reverse track. Teams that do not observe this requirement may be disqualified for that leg.

All navigation aids are permitted including GPS.

The winner of the race is the team that wins the Grand Final between the two teams leading the premiership table/s after each team match races another team on each leg.

There will be a prize for the team winning each leg.
Daily prizes are awarded for many other things including:
> Preparation
> Airmanship
> Cheerfulness
> Anything that takes the fancy of the race committee on the day.

These prizes have no bearing on the overall time trial result.

There is no handicapping system, if you have an opinion on this subject we are happy to listen to it once, but reserve the right to make our own decision.. All teams will be treated equally.


The Outback Air Race is all about:


Rule 1 The race committee is always right.

Rule 2 If you think you are right refer above.

Rule 3 Teams may produce their own merchandise (T-shirts, caps, banners etc.,) but must include the Outback Air Race logo on any such merchandise.
The RFDS logo on the other hand is a valuable marketing asset of the RFDS and its use is tightly controlled. The RFDS logo may only be used with prior permission of the RFDS, via your committee. Please contact us if you wish to use it on team merchandise, or on printed or electronic media.
Rule 4 See The Time Trial for additional rules

Rule 5 All teams will make provision on their aircraft for space to display race stickers and race numbers. The space required on both the left and right side of the fuselage aft of the cockpit measures-
1000mm x 300mm
(Note: These stickers will be provided by the race organisers. You may produce and affix others as you see fit)

Rule 6 All team members must sign, and have witnessed, an Indemnity and Release form. Forms shall be submitted at registration prior to the start of the Race.

Rule 7 The race committee reserves the right to withdraw the privilege of any team to continue the race at any time for not entering into the spirit of the race, for breaking the rules, or behaving in a manner that is unsafe.

Rule 8 Each pilot in command and team member must adhere to all orders and regulations of the Civil Aviation Safety Authority and take responsibility for such.

Rule 9 The race committee retains the right to alter the route as required.

Rule 10 The race committee retains the right to alter these rules; any alteration will be notified to teams prior to the commencement of the race or during the race at the daily briefing.