SILVER SPRINGS — Hayward Air Rally participating pilots flew into this community’s airport Thursday, and among those greeting them was a student from Carson City looking to spread his wings in aviation.
Richard Frewert, Jr., about to start his senior year at Nevada Connections Academy, was on hand to help rally participants and was recognized for winning a related scholarship. He will be one of seven students in seven states who will receive scholarships that include tuition and round-trip air fare to the Experimental Aircraft Association’s Advanced Air Academy summer program for 2014.
Frewert, enjoying the rally’s opening act, will head to Oshkosh, Wis. The program in Oshkosh is an in-residence summer camp for students to develop and explore their interests in aviation. It provides a foundation for young aviation enthusiasts to take the next steps in the field and a chance to make friends with peers who have similar interests, according to organizers.
This community’s airport was the first stop for the air rally, which billed itself the longest continually-held proficiency flying event in North America. Planes were a bit late in arriving, with the first in at mid-morning, after a 45 minute delay due to fog before takeoff in California. The annual rally is staged by Hayward Air Rally, Inc., a not-for-profit in California, which began in the city for which it’s named in 1964.
Pilot Ed Hunter of Saratoga, Calif., along with his navigator, Alex Santoro of Palo Alto, Calif., brought their Cessna 310 in first and were followed by a couple of Vans RV 10 aircraft. In all, more than 25 planes were anticipated. After refueling, an early barbecue luncheon was served.
Frewert and his father, Rick, were among those greeting Hunter and Santoro. Frewert then trekked back to the barbecue area to bring a cooler of water out for all pilots and navigators at the refueling area.
In the first of the two Vans RV 10 planes were Mitzi and Dave Saylor of Watsonville, Calif., with Mitzi piloting the craft. She was on a busman’s and airwoman’s holiday of sorts, flying the couple’s yellow and white aircraft. She is a commercial flight captain for United based in San Francisco. In the red version of the same model plane, which came in next, was Rick Emerian of Fresno, Calif. He was flying solo.
The 50th annual Hayward Air Rally runs Thursday through Sunday, originating at the Hayward Executive Airport and spanning seven states along a challenging and competitive route.
The ultimate destination is the Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA) Air Venture event at the Oshkosh Wittman Field in Wisconsin.
Cheryl Knight of Carson City, a member of the Hayward Air Rally Committee and the Silver Springs Airport stop’s ramp lead, said the EAA was forged by people who built or converted aircraft themselves, but now includes membership by aviation enthusiasts of all stripes. Rally organizers say that EAA’s ranks include 180,000 in membership and 1,000 local chapters.