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Fri, Aug 14, 2009

Pilots Use UK National Record Attempt To Showcase 'Fly2Help'

Pentagon Clearance Had To Be Secured For One Stop Of The Charity Flight

A high-flying duo is entering the UK's prestigious Dawn to Dusk competition and is about to set out on a 1,000-mile endurance flight, visiting 24 airfields around the UK in a single day.

According to the event's website, "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, during the hours between Dawn to Dusk in terms of furthering some original and praiseworthy objective."

Steve Bridgewater and Amanda Harrison (both 34) will be setting off from Wellesbourne Mountford airfield near Stratford-upon-Avon at 0500 local time on Friday 14th August in an attempt to win the Dawn to Dusk flying competition. One of the judges is Prince Philip. They'll be flying a Piper PA-28 Warrior generously provided by Take Flight Aviation at Wellesbourne Mountford.

Steve, an aviation journalist, and Amanda, a commercial pilot, are using their epic flight to raise awareness of the Fly2Help Foundation. Fly2Help is a registered charity which aims to lift the horizons of people of all ages and from all backgrounds through the medium of flight. It supports those with life-limiting and chronic illnesses.

"Amanda and I were awarded both the 'Tiger Club Trophy' and 'Pooley Sword' last year," said Steve, "but we were beaten to first place."

"Competitors must choose a theme for their entry and then complete as much flying as possible between dawn and dusk on a single day," explained Amanda. "Steve and I have chosen to mark the 100th anniversary of Britain's very first airshow by visiting as many current and former airshow venues as we can in a day."

Amanda Harrison, Steve Bridgewater

One stop required clearance from the Pentagon and U.S. Air Force. The team plans to stop at USAF base at RAF Mildenhall, home to the 100th ARW (Air Refueling Wing) Mildenhall is a historic base and was once home to one of the nation's favorite air shows.

Britain's first airshow took place in October 1909 with events taking place within days of each other at Doncaster and Blackpool. Today, air shows are the second most popular spectator sport in Britain, with attendance figures exceeding 6.5 million. Only football matches draw a bigger crowd.

FMI: www.awyr.vpweb.co.uk/DawntoDusk.html

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