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International Dawn to Dusk Challenge – Established 1964

Piper at sunset

– 57th YEAR –

*** It is important to remind pilots that after a prolonged period of lockdown they should look to sharpen their flying skills before attempting a Dawn to Dusk Challenge. The Competition requires a great deal of planning and appropriate regard to safety and Threat & Error Management. The Judges will take this into account when reviewing each entry. GASCo in the UK have a very useful checklist which starts by asking "Do I have the right recent experience and skill level to execute this flight safely?" You can find it by clicking here***

2020 Competition now open - Closing date for entries is 30th September.

The Dawn to Dusk Competition, now in its fifty seventh 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 handed 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, Owner, SkyDemon

Katherine Hodge, First Officer, Virgin Atlantic

Sebastian Pooley, Managing Director, Pooleys Flight Equipment

Ian Seager, Publisher, Flyer Magazine

The Duke of Edinburgh's Message 1993

Further Information

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 31st August each year (30th September for 2020) 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.



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

Ladies 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 initials 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   J. Laurance & L. Jones Fenleigh Pre-Reformation Cathedrals C152
1990 17 1366 T. Ankers 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
2017 Trophy Winners
Trophy Recipient(s) Theme Aircraft
Duke of Edinburgh Trophy Ian Butter RNLI and Air Sea Rescue PA28-181 Archer
Coventry Trophy Nic Orchard Against Aerial Attacks WWI Aeronca Champ
Tiger Club Trophy Kathryn Hutchings & Paul Wheal Spa Towns Cessna F172E
Pooley Sword Ian Butter Best Log PA28-181 Archer
Bonney Trophy Nic Orchard Against Aerial Attacks WWI Aeronca Champ
Icarus Trophy Not awarded - -
Family Trophy Fiona & Angus Macaskill Those were the days Cessna 152
Long Distance Medal Ruth Bridges & Dan Temprado UNESCO UK World Heritage Sites Piper PA28

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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 56th year, provides a unique aeronautical challenge participating in a day's flying using an aircraft of the competitor's choice.

Learn more

Pooleys Charitable Support

Pooleys Charitable Support

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