How to become a racer
Coming to a race as a spectator or a member is exciting enough for many of us, but if you want to race as a pilot or navigator then here’s what you need to do.
1. Check that you and your aircraft are eligible to race
Below are the minimum requirements for pilots and aircraft wishing to hold an FAI racing licence and compete in the British Air Racing Championship.
Download and study the Air Racing Handbook and Air Racing Rules from the briefing room and familiarise yourself with them.
3. Assessment Flight
Get in touch with us to be connected with an approved check pilot who will carry out an assessment flight and familiarise you with race techniques, accurate flying, and turning - the flight content is in the Air Race Handbook and will need some practice before the check flight. Successful completion will allow you to race under supervision.
4. Supervised Racing
For your first few races you will need to be supervised by an experienced race pilot or navigator who is approved by the association. Don't let this put you off, they are all nice people and won't extend the requirement any longer than necessary for safety. If you are unable to fly with others for some reason e.g. you only have a single seat aircraft then please contact us to discuss your circumstances.
Safety is paramount and only a pilot with at least 100 hours P1 experience (with 10 hrs on type if < 500 hrs PIC and 5 hrs if > 500 hrs) and a valid FAI Competitor’s Licence may compete in air racing.
You can race any aircraft providing that it is capable of doing at least 100mph for the duration of the race, either flat out or with an approved throttle stop fitted. It must have good visibility forward of the lateral axis and above, forward of the normal axis. The stewards reserve the right to refuse an aircraft on safety grounds if it does not meet this requirement.
Any adult or child with a reasonable level of maturity can participate in air racing as a navigator. Navigators assist the pilot with locating turn points, looking out for other aircraft and any other duties the pilot might agree with them and assign to them. There may only be one navigator per race aircraft.
You must be a member of the Royal Aero Club Records, Racing and Rally Association to race in the British Air Racing Championship. Membership fees are subject to change annually and there are different categories of membership available. Below are the current membership catergories and fees.
The entry fee for a race currently stands at £180.
Family Membership £400
Includes pilot member, spouse and children under 18. Has voting rights
Full member £95
Includes voting rights
Pilot Member £305
Includes voting rights and the right to participate in air races
Social Member £25.50
Does not include voting rights. Social members can participate in club dinners and utilise club transport at the same rates as all other members and will receive all club communications.
Discounts are available to members signing up before the 28th February each year and rates are pro-rata for new members joining part way through the year. For more information please contact us via the contact form on the home page. All new membership applications must be approved by the committee.
Is Air Racing Safe?
All motorsport can be dangerous and Air Racing is not an exception. However, safety is the primary focus for the 3Rs using a Safety Management System (SMS), Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs), a simple Pilot Assessment Syllabus (described above) and course design procedures to make Handicapped Air Racing a fun yet safe pursuit.
The SMS document and SOPs can be found in the Members Area of the website, which you will have access to when you join. You will see it is 3Rs policy to operate a just safety culture where safety reporting is strongly encouraged and de-identified after submission. The follow up actions are transparent by the posting of processed de-identified safety reports.
Air racing has been taking place since before 1922 involving hundreds of races and hundreds of pilots and in that context the sport has a very good safety record.