We Won!

           We came away from the Award Ceremony on 4 February with an almost embarrassing number of trophies - 6 of the available10! These included the Duke of Edinburgh Award for first place in the Full Challenge,  the Half Trophy for first in the Half Challenge, the Gold Medal for longest distance covered and the Pooleys Sword for the best logbook, (the latter entirely Patrick's work!).  Patrick has also made  a rather moving video about it which is attached.

             On Sunday 8 August we had completed the last of our attempts on the Dawn to Dusk Challenge, finishing our 'Half Million Islands' flight without missing a single one of the 119 islands stretching from the Scillies in the south west, to the far north of the Shetlands, and taking in the Farne islands on the East Coast and St Kilda in the far west of the Hebrides, well on the way to Iceland! Starting at 5.20 am, 17 mins before sunrise at Lee on Solent, Patrick was in the plane 15 hours solidly before touching down at Lerwick at 8.15 in the evening, an amazing feat of endurance for a less than able bodied person. At least I was able to get out and walk around during our 3 refuelling stops at Caernarfon, Oban and Stornoway. 

          Most of the trip was in reasonable weather, but there were anxious times crossing the Pennines between Isle of Man and the Farne Islands, when the scenery and the clouds got to be too close together for comfort. The trip involved flying 1707 nautical miles or 2000 ordinary miles, with 1800 of them over the ocean, often far from land! This is a bit longer the length of the Atlantic crossing between Newfoundland and Ireland!  For a small plane this is near to the limit of what is possible in a day, and few pilots relish flying that far over water in a single engined plane. Also travelling west to St Kilda took us right into an advancing low  & frontal system, with high winds, rain, poor visibility and cloud base down to 700ft. But overall it was an amazing trip with memorable scenery. I am overwhelmed by and very proud of the courage and sheer dogged determination to keep going, that Patrick showed.

            We also completed our Irish Lighthouses trip in June and I did the Wellington's Battle Sites trip in July. Details of all these trips have been published in aviation journals.

           The Dawn to Dusk Challenge is an annual aviation competition that has been running nearly 50 years. Until he retired last year the Duke of Edinburgh was the chief judge. To compete you need to dream up an exciting (possibly slightly mad!) plan which involves you flying a small plane as much as possible between dawn and dusk on any one single day during the summer. There is also a ‘Half Challenge’ which has to be completed before or after the middle of the day.  

            Patrick as many of you will know, has motor neurone disease, a condition with progressive muscle weakening and an average survival of 34 months from first symptom. He is now over 3 years from his onset and although  riding in a car is physically difficult and unpleasant for him, the balanced nature of flying (even mine!) is more manageable for him, and he is not the sort to resist a challenge.

             We did this to raise money for the MND Association. The MNDA gives tremendous support to affected individuals and their families, but also funds research into this most unpleasant of diseases.  We have good reason to hope that research is approaching the point where an effective treatment will be found within the next 5 years. We have paid all our own expenses so every penny of sponsorship, (less a small administration fee charged by justgiving for online donations) goes to the MNDA .  We would be very grateful if you would sponsor us and help us get well past our initial target of £10,000. Very many thanks for your support!

                                    David & Patrick

Updates 0

Raising money for

Motor Neurone Disease Association

Motor Neurone Disease Association

Charity Registration No. 294354

The MND Association is the only national charity in England, Wales and Northern Ireland dedicated to improve care and support for people affected by MND, fund and promote research, and campaign and raise awareness so the needs of people with MND are addressed by society. Visit

Raising money for

Run by Motor Neurone Disease Association

Charity Registration No. 294354

Donations 103

With best wishes

Donation by Old Bristol Road on 02/05/11


Congratulations! And really enjoyed the video of your experience.

Donation by Kimberly Sims on 08/04/11


+ £5.00 Gift Aid

An incredible performance by Patrick and David. Keep up the inspiring work.

Donation by Eric Sidebottom on 08/04/11

From another lovely Irish lady with the most beautiful garden

Donation by KMcE on 03/04/11


From a lovely Irish lady

Donation by Anon on 02/04/11


Congratulations to both of you for your achievements.

Donation by Graham Jones on 21/03/11

Many congratulations, and with special admiration for Patrick's courage!

Donation by dnjocmc on 18/03/11


+ £72.21 Gift Aid

Thrilled by your success in the Dawn to Dusk Challenge. Truly inspirational!

Donation by Ann Wake on 08/03/11

Donation by Trevor Wilcock on 28/02/11

Makign flying fun like it shoudl be, well done. Thanks to James Allison for forwarding the video.

Donation by Julian Murfitt on 27/02/11


+ £14.10 Gift Aid

I was very moved by your video

Donation by James Allison on 26/02/11


+ £56.41 Gift Aid

Well done David & Patrick! Having flown in the plane I can start to imagine your achievements.

Donation by Michael Elcock on 25/02/11


+ £33.85 Gift Aid

You are amazing, congratulations. Paddy

Donation by Paddy Jelen on 14/02/11


+ £28.21 Gift Aid

What an achievement the both of you. I am very moved by the video.

Donation by Jane Braithwaite on 12/02/11

Dear David and Patrick, I salute your fine achievement. My brother in law Henry was assisted by Patrick's optimism. Well done ! Chris

Donation by Chris Greenhill on 11/02/11


+ £28.21 Gift Aid

Well done. Very humbling. Good luck.

Donation by Rick Morris on 11/02/11


+ £28.21 Gift Aid

Inspired by your latest film....

Donation by Sally Webb on 11/02/11


+ £28.21 Gift Aid

A fantastic and uplifting achievement, well done to you both.

Donation by Sanjay and Ali on 11/02/11


+ £28.21 Gift Aid

Congratulationson on both achievements. jpt

Donation by John Powell-Tuck on 11/02/11


+ £28.21 Gift Aid

Congratulations David and Patrick on an outstanding achievement. From your aircraft hangar!

Donation by Richard & Zoe on 10/02/11


Congratulations to you both David & Patrick. How special for you both to share in this accomplishment ! --rrb

Donation by Roberta R Boyd on 09/02/11


Well, you did it David & Patrick and you earned those awards. A BIG Congratulations

Donation by John & Stephanie Appleby on 09/02/11


+ £28.21 Gift Aid

An amazing feat - well done indeed!

Donation by Alison Makepeace on 09/02/11


+ £2.82 Gift Aid

An amazing son and creative father - what a super combination!

Donation by Fergus Kyle on 09/02/11


Congratulations David and Patrick on such an impressive and amazing feat. The awards were very well deserved. Here's to reaching your target!

Donation by Elizabeth (Cochrane) Ponsford on 09/02/11


+ £5.64 Gift Aid

Donation summary

  • * Online donations£6,460.12
  • Offline donations£5,357.00
  • Text donations£0.00
  • Total raised£11,817.12
  • Gift Aid£1,513.74

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