Flight1 is again supporting the annual Dawn to Dusk Challenge for two pilots who are today embarking on an epic endurance flight around Great Britain to raise awareness for the Flying Scholarships for the Disabled charity.
Steve Bridgewater (32) - who is editor of Go Flying! magazine and deputy editor of Pilot magazine - and his flying partner Amanda Harrison (also 32) plan to land at 17 airfields in just under twelve hours in an attempt to win the annual Dawn to Dusk flying competition.
“Competitors must choose a theme for their entry and then complete as much flying as possible between the hours of 4.30am and 9.30pm in a single day” explained Steve who lives in Stamford, Lincolnshire.“Amanda and I have chosen to mark the 85th anniversary of the King’s Cup Air Race and will be visiting former race venues.”
The King’s Cup was first presented by King George V in 1922 and the competition was originally open only to British and Empire pilots flying British or aeroplanes. The first race took place at Croydon and was won by Captain F.L. Barnard in a de Havilland D.H.4A.
Steve and Amanda’s route will take them from their base at Brize Norton in Oxfordshire to Newcastle, Durham Tees Valley, Doncaster Robin Hood, Nottingham Tollerton, Leicester, Sywell (Northampton), Coventry, Birmingham International, Halfpenny Green (Wolverhampton), Shobdon, Thruxton, High Wycombe, Southend, Rochester, Shoreham-on-Sea, Bembridge (Isle of Wight), White Waltham and back to Brize Norton. The route is 834 miles and is expected to take 11 hours and 50 minutes.
“These guys were real pioneers,” says Steve,“They were flying small aeroplanes with large engines and relying on sheer skill to get them home. It’s only fitting that we pay tribute to them in this anniversary year. The trophy is still highly coveted today and is now competed for at Sywell aerodrome near Northampton.”
The duo will be using a single-engined Piper PA-28 Warrior aeroplane named‘Ivy Bird’ for their epic flight. The aeroplane is named after a disabled owl that Oxford based Amanda has looked after for the last 18 years.“As we’re doing the trip in support of a disabled flying charity it seems fitting to name our aeroplane after a disabled bird!” says Amanda, who has recently qualified as an airline pilot.
“Flying Scholarships for the Disabled is a charity dedicated to helping disabled people to discover their true potential through the mental and physical stimulation of learning to fly,” says Amanda.“The challenges they face and overcome enable them to find new confidence and self esteem, helping them to rise above their own personal difficulties and help them view the future with greater self-assurance.”
Steve and Amanda plan to conduct their flight during either week commencing July 23rd or week commencing July 30th.“We are very reliant on the weather,” explains Steve.“With 17 airfields to visit and more than 800 miles to travel we need the very best weather conditions. We think we’ll be airborne for just under twelve hours on the day, but it’s going to be great fun.”
The team’s flight is supported by Flight 1 Software, Pooleys Flight Equipment and Citizen Watches as well as the RAF Brize Norton Flying Club.
To find out more about Flying Scholarships for the Disabled and how you can help visit