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International Dawn to Dusk Challenge – Established 1964

Piper at sunset

– 59th YEAR –

2021/22 Competition is open - Closing date for entries is 30th September 2022.

The Dawn to Dusk Competition, now in its fifty ninth year, provides a unique aeronautical challenge participating in a day's flying using an aircraft of the competitor's choice. The competition is an opportunity to further your flying, to expand your horizons and to give you the excuse you need to have the flying adventure you have always wanted to have.

If you are interested in entering the competition, please click on the 'How to Enter' tab below. If you have any questions, please email enquiries@pooleysdawntodusk.com and we will come back to you.

The Objective of Dawn to Dusk is to encourage the most interesting employment of a Flying Machine within the limits of competent airmanship and to demonstrate the capabilities of pilot and machine in a day's flying, in the hours between Dawn and Dusk, whilst undertaking an original and praiseworthy objective.

All that is required is for the competitor to set themselves a challenging goal with a theme and fly it. You then need to write up a detailed log of your preparations and flight. An example of a previously submitted log can be found here.

Themes are diverse. Many have used historical events be it civil or military. Geographic, geological or environmental themes have become popular as well as old flying routes, test pilots and testing centres. The only limit on the challenge you set yourself is your imagination! Many choose to link their challenge with a charitable endeavour, raising money as they fly. Examples of previous themes can be found below under 'Previous Winners and Themes'.

Over the past 50+ years winning and highly placed entries have been submitted from more than 14 countries including Australia, New Zealand, Scandinavia, Canada, United States and of course from across Europe.

An entry can be flown at any time of the year, with the cut off date for submission of your log falling on the last day of August. Entries received after this date will be entered into the following year's competition. 

The competition was until February 2018 judged by a Panel of 5 aviators including the late former Test Pilot John Farley. For 50 years, from 1968 until 2018, the competition was coordinated by David Hamilton. David and his team of judges stood down in February 2018 at the Dawn to Dusk Awards Dinner and the mantle was passed to Sebastian Pooley, one of the judges.

In 2018, a new panel of judges was formed including:

Peter Benmax, Dawn to Dusk Judge since 1982

Tim Dawson OBE, Owner, SkyDemon

Katherine Hodge, First Officer, Virgin Atlantic

Sebastian Pooley, Managing Director, Pooleys Flight Equipment

Ian Seager, Owner, Flyer Magazine and Pilot Career News

The Duke of Edinburgh's Message 1993

Further Information

A Tribute to HRH Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh

HRH Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh was a life-long supporter and enthusiast of aviation. He gained his RAF wings in 1953, he qualified as a helicopter pilot with the Royal Navy in 1956 and gained his Private Pilot's Licence in 1959. Many members of the Royal Family have flown solo during their training with the RAF or Royal Navy but Prince Philip is the only one to have flown a civil aircraft solo. This he did in a Turbulent from White Waltham in October 1959. This is the only time a member of the Royal Family has flown a single seat aircraft.

Prince Philip Duke of Edinburgh Turbulent

It is significant that it was in a Tiger Club Turbulent that Prince Philip went solo, as this was the aircraft that all competitors in the Dawn to Dusk flew in the first 3 years of the competition. You'll see that under the previous winners details in the tab below. 

The Dawn to Dusk Competition was borne out of an idea and subsequent discussions between Prince Philip, a Member of the Tiger Club and Norman Jones, the then Chairman. The idea was simple - how far could you fly in a day between Dawn and Dusk (0430 and 2130). You had to start and finish at Redhill, the home of the Tiger Club, four days either side of Mid-Summer's day. Over the years the competition evolved in terms of format and rules but Prince Philip remained the Chairman of the  Judging Panel for over 40 years. He read every single log which his message of 1993 (link above) alludes to and when the judges all met with him at Buckingham Palace, he would have them spread out around the room. One on the entries, on the History of Fur Trappers in Canada, was so detailed that at the presentation dinner attended by the Canadian team, Prince Philip requested the log be placed in the library at the University of Winnepeg. Another entry, based on the work of Capability Brown, was kept by Prince Philip so he could show it to the Queen Mother over Christmas.

Although Prince Philip never participated in the competition directly, several of his equerries took part. He was asked whether he might enter but after discussions with the CAA, it emerged that the route would have to be designated as purple airways and would effectively shut down UK airspace. So he decided not to do it.

Prince Philip flew 5,986 hours in 59 types of aircraft. His final flight at the age of 76 was on 11th August 1997 from Carlisle to Islay.

Prince Philip's commitment to aviation, technology, engineering, both in the UK and across the Commonwealth, was tireless. He will be missed.

Our thoughts are with Her Majesty the Queen, the Royal Family and their friends.

The Judges of the Dawn to Dusk Competition, Former and Present

Prince Philip Duke of Edninburgh flying a Turbulent

Photographs courtesy of the Light Aircraft Association

Competition Rules

In late 2018, the rules of the Dawn to Dusk Competition where reviewed and simplified. The competition is an opportunity to further your flying, to expand your horizons and to give you the excuse you need to have the flying adventure you have always wanted to have. We want the competition to be as easy to enter and fly as possible.

The rules are simple:

  1. The competition is open to any qualified pilot, in any aircraft, from any country in the world, whatever your level of experience.
  2. There is no charge to enter the competition.
  3. Flights must be for a minimum of 4 hours airborne time between the hours of dawn and dusk and may start and finish from any place in the world.
  4. You can pick any theme/objective you wish. Adding a charitable aspect is not a requirement but has become popular in recent years.
  5. Entrants are required to complete and submit, after the flight, a detailed flight log on the forms provided or a GPS log of your track, accompanied by a written or video log. The written log must contain at least 1000 words.
  6. All receipts for fuel and landing fees as well as any customs/GAR declarations must accompany the flight log, together with all charts/GPS printouts and weather reports used. Photographs of your start and finish points should include evidence of the start date/time and must be included.
  7. The Entry Form must be completed in full. Failure to do so may invalidate your entry.
  8. Any airspace infringement means an automatic disqualification.
  9. Completed entries including your log must be sent to:

The International Dawn to Dusk Challenge

c/o Pooleys Flight Equipment Limited

Elstree Aerodrome




United Kingdom

by 30th September each year for entry into that year's competition.

Interpretation of Rules

Any queries regarding the rules should be addressed, in writing, to the Coordinator - enquiries@pooleysdawntodusk.com

Breach of Regulations or other law

In view of the rules as stated above, and of the fact that neither Pooleys, The Tiger Club nor any other Sponsor exercises any supervision or control over Competitors, the following provisions shall apply:

a) It is the responsibility of each Competitor to ensure that they comply, at all times, with all relevant legislation currently in force regarding the airworthiness of Flying Machines, licensing of crew, operation of Flying Machines and so on.

b) Neither Pooleys, The Tiger Club, nor any Sponsor, nor any other organiser or official connected with the event accepts any responsibility to the Competitor or to anyone else for any of the following:

i) the financial or other arrangements of Competitors and intending Competitors.

ii) any breach of regulations or general law, or any negligent, reckless or other act or default whatsoever committed or omitted (as the case may be) by a Competitor.

iii) subject to section 2 of the Unfair Contract Terms Act 1977, any death or loss, damage or injury of whatever nature caused to or by a Competitor.

iv) the arrangement of any insurance in relation to the Competition. Each Competitor is solely responsible for making whatever insurance arrangements are necessary. In the event of dispute, English law will prevail.



Please note that the current competition rules and scoring system are under review. New details will be available from 1st September 2018.

The points basis on which the Competition is scored is set out below. The winner will be the Competitor scoring the highest number of total points under this system in accordance with the regulations.

Subjects Possible Score
1. Planning  
a. Originality 20
b. Research 20
c. Flight Planning 20
2. Flying  
a. Airmanship 30
b. Difficulty 30
c. Distance and planned/achieved ratio 10
d. Airborne time and planned/achieved ratio 10
e. Observation of the rules 10
3. Log  
a. Presentation and relevance 20
b. Completeness and accuracy 20
4. Handicapping  
a. Pilot and crew experience 20
b. Flying 20
c. Equipment 10
d. Weather 10

Note: Failure to observe the regulations and complete the flight report in all particulars will result in loss of points. Serious omissions or inaccuracies may result in exclusion.



The Competition will be judged by the panel of judges.

Each judge will read/view each entry/log and based on their personal decision, will order the entries based on who they feel has submitted the best entries. The judges will then convene as a group and agree the winning order of the entries overseen by the Coordinator. Their decision is final.

There is no official scoring but the judges will give due consideration to the following aspects of the flight:

a) Planning including originality, research and flight planning.

b) Flying including airmanship, difficulty, distance and planned/achieved ratio, airborne time and planned/achieved ratio and the observation of the rules.

c) Safety including threat and error management and appropriate equipment on board.

d) The Log including presentation and relevance, completeness and accuracy.

e) Handicapping including pilot and crew experience, disability and health, machine used and weather conditions.

The results will be announced as soon as possible and an awards Presentation and Reception will be held at the RAF Club, Piccadilly, London in January of the following year.

The Judges reserve the right to penalise any Competitor who, in their opinion, has taken unnecessary risks or demonstrated bad or doubtful airmanship. Competitors may be required to give a written or verbal explanation of any of the circumstances connected with the flight. Particularly blatant cases of bad airmanship may result in exclusion.

The decision of the Judges is final. It is pointed out that the Competitors agree to be bound by this, and all other regulations issued for the Competition, upon completing the Entry Form. The Judges reserve the right to reject an entry without having to assign a reason. The judges reserve the right to combine two years of entries should too few be received in one year.

Sponsorship and Awards


The Dawn to Dusk Competition is sponsored by Pooleys Flight Equipment.

Details of the Awards Ceremony, when the results will be announced, will be forwarded to all entrants in due course.

Trophies and Awards

1st Duke of Edinburgh Trophy (£1000 prize)

2nd Coventry Trophy (£500 prize)

3rd Tiger Club Trophy (£250 prize)

Pooley Sword - Best Presented Report and Log

Helicopter Trophy

Glenisla Trophy - Pilot and crew each having less than 75 hours in command

Icarus Trophy - Best solo entry

Microlight Trophy

Long Distance Medal

Bonney Trophy - Awarded to an all female crew

Family Award

Best Video Award



Every Competitor who finishes the Competition, in accordance with the regulations, and submits a log and written/video report will be presented with a Certificate.

The awards will be available for presentation provided that, in the opinion of the Judges, there is a Competitor eligible for them.

How to Enter

How to Enter

Thank you for your interest in the competition. Please complete your initial details below and we will send you the full entry form to complete by email.


Previous Winners and Themes
Year Number of entries Longest Distance Flown (NM)  Winner Theme Aircraft
1964     Don Lovell   Turbulent
1965     Don Lovell   Turbulent
1966     Robin Voice   Turbulent
1967     Paul Herring   RF4
1968 17 2027 Hubert Schnabel (Germany) 8 countries and 7 seas Mooney 20A
1969 21 2230 Hubert Schnabel (Germany) 12 EEC countries Mooney 20A
1970 23 1742 Mike Bialkiewicz (Poland)   RF4
1971 27 2100 Lucien Hankart (Belgium) Denmark and back C150
1972 21 1265 Mike Bialkiewicz (Poland)   RF4D
      Lucien Hankart   C150
1973 6 1256 Tom Foxworth (US) Early Kings Cup Races Stampe
1974 15 1416 R. Ashford & A. McClymont   Jodel 150
1975 14 1475 Tom Foxworth (US) Western Front WW1 Tiger Moth
1976 10 1540 Tony Cattle & Mike Wheatley 6 original EEC countries C172
1977 9 1283 Marlyn Wood & Alan Butcher Beginnings of man Condor
1978 7   Pat Holmes Most northerly and southerly UK headlands C150
1979 7 1531 John Blake & Stratton Richie Battlefields of the Irish Guards C150
1980     Charles Shea-Simonds & Amanda Mitchell   Stampe
1981 11 1405 Charles Shea-Simonds & Julie Hanks Private airstrips C150
1982 8 1893 Howard Cox & Christopher Turner Steam railways Piper Cub
1983     Howard Cox & Christopher Turner   C150
1984 28 2475 Eddie Coventry & Don Bullen 45 counties of England Piper Arrow
1985 12 1285 Charles Shea-Simonds & Sean Long Army Parachute Association BN Islander
1986 20 880 D. Southwell & D. Cook 8th USAF Shadow
1987 17 2500 Andre Dumas & Bob Purves (Canada) Fur trappers Baron
1988 9 1260 Christopher Harris & John Stevens Friesan Islands Rallye 180
1989 37   L. Jones Fenleigh & J. Laurance (photographer) Pre-Reformation Cathedrals C152
1990 17 1366 L. Jones Fenleigh & T. Ankers (photographer) Lord Dowding - A solitary man C152
1991 12 1493 T. Gauvain & D. Hughes Pro Utilitate Nominum Piper Cadet
1992 19 2351 M. McCormac & J. McCormac The Civil War Cherokee Cruiser
1993 17 1111 M. McCormac Operation Chastise PA140
1994 17 1457 C. Dodds & R. Smith Lost names of British Aviation Hornet Moth
1995     Marcus Palmer & John Pile National Trust Gardens C172
1996     Beryl Thorpe & Janet Higginbotham Capability Brown MS880
1997/1998     Larry Webb & Maureen Elliott   Piper Arrow
1999     Alan James & Alan Watson   Air Camper
2000 15   Tim & Jenny Whitome Scottish Islands PA17
2001 20 954 Trisha Nelmes & Helen Krasner Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 C152
2002/2003 10 960 Tor Richvoldsen Wooden Hotels PA28
2004 15 727 Marion McCall & Bishop David McCall (Australia) Beating the Bounds, Bunbury WA C172
2005/2006 24 1282 Anthony Davis Motor Racing Circuits PA28
2007 10 906 Marion McCall & Bishop David McCall (Australia) Crossing the Nullebor Plain, Australia C172
2008/2009 15 1398 Colin Hales Round UK Rand KR2
2010 10 1703 David & Patrick Joyce Half a million islands Europa X5
2011 7   Mike Roberts & Kim Towle Most airfields in one day PA28
2012-2013 7   Marion & David McCall (Australia) The Eyre Adventure Cessna 172
2014-16 9 1420 Fiona & Angus Macaskill Powering over Paragliders Vans RV9A
2017 5 1022 Ian Butter RNLI and Air Sea Rescue PA28-181 Archer
2019-20 11 1542 Fiona & Angus Macaskill Getting a Guinness - Most Airfields visited in 12 hours by a Fixed Wing Airfield Bolkow Monsun B209
2019-20 Trophy Winners
Trophy Recipient(s) Theme Aircraft
Duke of Edinburgh Trophy Fiona & Angus Macaskill Getting a Guinness - Most Airfields visited in 12 hours by a Fixed Wing Airfield Bolkow Monsun B209
Coventry Trophy Chris Bullock & Lee Wilson Team Sibson: Operating Sterling Cessna 172
Tiger Club Trophy

Shared between:

Ruth Bridges & Sharlene Benn

Jonathan Stamp & Ian Butterworth


Save the Children Flight

English Choirs & Organs


Cessna 172 SkyHawk

Cessna 172

Pooley Sword (Best log) Nic Orchard The F Word - Follies 2019 Aeronca Champ
Bonney Trophy Amy Whitewick Magenta Pigeon Cessna 150L Aerobat
Icarus Trophy (Best solo entry) Nic Orchard The F Word, Follyume two: Follisify  Aeronca Champ
Family Trophy Fiona & Angus Macaskill Getting a Guinness - Most Airfields visited in 12 hours by a Fixed Wing Airfield Bolkow Monsun B209
Long Distance Medal Mike Roberts & Nick Rogers World Record Attempt - 16 Countries in 24 Hours Piper PA46 Malibu Matrix
Helicopter Trophy Not awarded - -
Glenisla Trophy (less than 75 hours P1) Harry Karmel To learn and practise my short, soft field flying and improve confidence in controlled airspace Piper PA28-161
Microlight Trophy Not awarded - -
Best Video Award (new award) Gill Coates & Robert Green Reviving Railway Air Services Piper PA28

Pedro Reposo

Harry Karmel

9 Hidden Treasures

To learn and practise my short, soft field flying and improve confidence in controlled airspace

Simulated flight due to COVID restrictions

Piper PA28-161


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International Dawn to Dusk Competition - sponsored by Pooleys

International Dawn to Dusk Competition - sponsored by Pooleys

The International Dawn to Dusk Competition, now in its 60th year, provides a unique aeronautical challenge participating in a day's flying using an aircraft of the competitor's choice.

Learn more

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