Outback Air Race Frequently Asked Questions
1. How do we get involved? Is there some initial stuff you can send us that can point us in the right direction.
Planning and notification for the next event generally starts about 18 months prior to the race. Click on the contact list above to send us an email or join our mailing list to get notified when planning has commenced.
Raising money usually starts as soon as you have registered; no one has had serious problems raising the required amount of money in the time given and in fact some excelled at it. You'll find that the RFDS is a relatively easy cause to raise money for (it's an Australian Icon) and your imagination is the only limit on how to raise the funds.
2. What’s the minimum endurance aircraft required
So long as you have about 3-4 hours endurance you will have no problems. If you have less; you may need to find a few other refuelling spots enroute but this will not inhibit the ability for you to enter and compete in the race. In a previous event, one team flew a R22 helicopter; the range is not phenomenal on these.
3. What sort of Licence do pilots need?
Most pilots who entered the race are PPL VFR only pilots. There is only a need for one appropriately qualified pilot, but additional pilots, at the discretion of the team can sharing the flying duties improving the enjoyment of the event for eveyone. The least experienced pilot got her PPL about a week before the race, and the most experienced pilot was an 18,000 hour ex-British Airways Pilot.
For this years event, we are accepting RAAus Pilot Certificate with the appropiate additional endorsements for Cross Country, Radio, Human Factors, Passenger and any requirements for any aircraft endorsements applicable to type.
All legeally required documentation for both the pilot and the aircraft are required to be presented for verification prior to the commencement of the event. The timing and exact requirements will be advised to participants as the event start drawns nearer. As is the case with all aviation avtivities, the pilot remains responsible for their aircraft, its operations and any passangers, regardless of their acceptance into the event by the committee.
4. How does the fundraising work – do we use some of the funds to offset the aircraft hire/fuel/etc? Then the balance goes to the charity pool? How’s it work exactly?
The minimum fundraising requirements in the previous year was $2,000 per team member (remember, not all team members need to be pilots). This amount must be met to go on the race. This money will not offset any flying costs for yourself; it is the minimum amount per team member to be raised to make the race worthwhile from a fundraising perspective. While this target may seem like a significant amount, you will find the RFDS is very easy to fundraise for and many teams raise in excess of $10,000! The fundraising component is an important part of the event and I can guarantee you will have a strong sense of satisfaction having handed over money to this very worth charity.
You may also take on sponsors to cover your operating costs; and you can show their company stickers on your plane etc.. as sponsorship is essentially them paying for advertising.
5. What are the entry requirements?
Pretty much as discussed above; fundraising minimum and licence / certificate minimum for pilots. Your aircraft must also be capable of landing on relatively short outback strips. In the 2012 event, the shortest was Arkaroola (YARK), a 650m gravel strip, however for this leg a specific alternate was provided with transport etc to a nearby ~1,200m tarmac strip. All the rest were at least 1,000m. An Eclipse jet participated in the 2015 race, with the only significant restriction being that it could not stop for the planned BBQ lunch and tour at Davenport Downs Station, as they only had a rough gravel station strip. Non-VH registered aircraft can also participate in the event, as long as they have all the necessary paperwork.