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Tracey Curtis-Taylor (Merged threads)

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Tracey Curtis-Taylor (Merged threads)

Old 3rd Jul 2016, 15:53
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I somehow doubt that she'd seriously launch an action - unless, as clareprop says, a clear-cut case of libel can be presented.
In TCT's case, given the amount of evidence that had been out there in the public domain, well ...
Threats? .. A possibility - but only as a tool in a pathetic attempt to shut relatively low-key, but annoying, players up.

What really is at stake here are the reputations of various members of the establishment who have, by having been seen to have lent credibility to this fraud, could appear to have somehow implicated themselves.
A legal case would attract unwelcome publicity.
Now, we can't have that, can we?

Nonetheless, I'm pretty sure that the "Due Diligence" and "Plausible Deniability" pages of their respective manuals are being consulted at the moment.

p.s. deefer dog's post, above, is a classic example of the "Modified Stance" that will be adopted by those presently trying to wipe the egg off their faces.

The fact that the high profile that TCT enjoys as a result of the orchestrated deceptions was aided and, (charitably, perhaps unwittingly [ahem], abetteted) by those now trying to hide behind curtains is neither here nor there, is it?

Thus, it's in "everybody that matter's" interests to try to sweep this slightly awkward situation under the carpet.

Last edited by Stanwell; 3rd Jul 2016 at 17:09. Reason: add ps
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Old 3rd Jul 2016, 16:06
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Reading the Masters Medal petition it is all about raising awareness about women pilots not about her flying achievements, this she did very well, though it seems to be collapsing about her head now because of the deception, so maybe they need to reassess!
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Old 3rd Jul 2016, 16:07
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deefer, if that is HCAP's limp-dick justification for such an award, I think I'll stick with my non-membership and look forward to gold foil covered chocolate coins at Christmas. Previous recipients:

1976 F A Laker Esq

1977 Captan J Schuman (posthumously) and Herr J Veito

The Red Arrows

1985 Captain John Testrake

1986 PO ACMN L Slater

1987 R Branson Esq and Per Lindstrand

1988 Captain S Yousif

1989 FO A Atchison

1990 Miss H Sharman

1991 - 1992 Not Awarded

1993 Captain E J Wyer

1994 Not Awarded

1995 Air Commodore A N Nicholson OBE QHS RAF

1996 - 1998 Not Awarded

1999 Brian Jones and Bertrand Piccard of the Breitling Orbiter 3

2000 Not Awarded

2001 Polly Vacher

2002 Caroline Gough-Cooper and Imogen Asker

2003 David K Hempleman-Adams OBE


2005 Not Awarded

2006 CREW OF 7 FLIGHT ARMY AIR CORPS, Warrant Officer Class 1 Challis (Aircraft Commander), Sergeant Khanlarian and Corporal Leah

2007 Apache Patrol Members of 656 Sqn AAC

Petty Officer Aircrewman James O'Donnell QGM

2008 Not Awarded

2009 The Crew of US Airways Flight 1549

Captain Charles "Chalkie" Stobbart

2010 Captain Michael Fairhurst and First Officer James Brown

Captain Stephen Noujaim

2011 Lieutenant Commander William Strickland USCG

2012 David "Wheely Dave" Sykes

2013 Lieutenant Commander Vincent Jansen USCG

Sergeant Rachael Robinson QGM

2014 Not Awarded

2015 Solar Impulse - Dr Bertrand Piccard and Andre Borschberg
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Old 3rd Jul 2016, 16:46
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Abstract from deefer's quote

"The Honourable Company of Air Pilots has awarded Tracey Curtis-Taylor the Master’s Medal for organising an aviation expedition from the UK to Australia, retracing the route flown by Amy Johnson as a tribute to her, and which formed part of a wider promotional endeavour to encourage females into aviation. There was one specific, principal aim in mind: to promote aviation to many thousands of youngsters, especially women"

This chestnut is becoming rather tedious and tiresome in 2016. They have 2 legs, 2 arms, ears, eyes and brain, the same as their male counter-parts.

If this award does get presented to TCT it will in fact display to the youngsters following this is that devious deceit does pay, nothing more IMHO.

Also, three female pilots that I have spoken with over the last month or so find TCT's shenanigans condescending and an insult to them. That's from the mouths of professional woman.

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Old 3rd Jul 2016, 17:00
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You could always express your views to Mr Tacon, Clerk of the Company by email to [email protected].

Perhaps he and his colleagues may make an HONOURABLE decision and retract the award.
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Old 3rd Jul 2016, 17:32
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If this award does get presented to TCT it will in fact display to the youngsters following this is that devious deceit does pay
Perhaps he and his colleagues may make an HONOURABLE decision and retract the award
Hear, Hear.

To be honest, being on the left side of the Atlantic, and just flying for the sake of piloting itself (not aspiring to awards for it), I had never heard of the HCAP until this thread. I trust it was formed with every intent of good promotion and honour. In my opinion, the honour of any group of people is in many ways measured against the company they keep. If the HCAP would like to honour TCT, knowing now of her cunning deceit, it's probably their honour which is now compromised. Maybe they care, maybe not so much.

Participation in HCAP has never been a factor in aviation as I have known it for the last 40 years. It will not become a factor now for me, other than an amusing tale of gullibility.

I agree that encouraging anyone into aviation is good. Allowing deceit to be an element of that is certainly not! Two destroyed aircraft don't make a good impression either!
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Old 3rd Jul 2016, 18:00
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Deefer and Stepturn I agree with what you say.

The Daily Mail expose a few days ago does nothing for advancing women in aviation apart from highlighting the fact that the right connections and money are the primary prerequisites.

I am pleased to see the LAA forum has a new thread following the Daily Mail story.

Tracey Curtis-Taylor
Postby mikehallam Sun Jul 03, 2016 10:41 am

There's a running debate on Pprune on this honoured lady pilot which seems to show beyond reasonable doubt that her achievement flying solo to Australia was not true as she in her publicity claimed, nor without modern instruments. Nearly all was flown with an accomplished male pilot in the front seat. The Daily Mail may be a bit of a rag but had a full page expose on her 'cheating' claims at the week-end.

I know she must have convinced the LAA of her prowess, got a write up and also several awards elsewhere. I am therefore surprised that no-one in the LAA openly admits to having read Pprune, or having done so hasn't mentioned it here.

It worries me it's not been raised on our forum: am I really the only LAA member to wonder what the LAA membership and management opinions are now ?

Leaving it hidden is IMHO, a slur on honest LAA pilots and on the genuine achievements of the trail blazers.

mike hallam.

In reply to Ian Melvilles comment no blame can be laid at Sam Rutherford for the Daily Mail story.

I am the person responsible.

At the very least a comment from the LAA chief exec Steve Slater on the organisations stance given the evidence?

When it comes to constructive comment on issues such as this, the advertising money and aviation social circles still comes first in the UK. Hence TCT's total blanking of negative publicity and threads like this.

Last edited by Mike Flynn; 3rd Jul 2016 at 18:33.
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Old 3rd Jul 2016, 20:35
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I imagine her total sponsorship from the three journeys must be around 1 million given the size of the entourage and hotels etc.
I have no idea about the accuracy of this amount, however, the funding required would obviously be considerable. If a large sum can be raised to sponsor a flight of this type (or an even more forthright one) in the name of a

promotional endeavour to encourage females into aviation.
Would that money not be better directed toward scholarships for deserving candidate pilots? Rather than to send a well connected woman and her safety pilot on a bimble from shipping container to shipping container?

I recently bought a propeller from a fellow who was parting out two unused aircraft. He inquired of me was I going to use the propeller myself (rather than sell it on for a profit)? Yes, that is what I will do, and I proudly told him so. He smiled, and agreed to the sale, explaining that he was donating all the proceeds of the sales of the aircraft parts to fund new pilots, he was not keeping the proceeds of the sales for himself. This was independently verified to me by another flier. Good for him, he should get a medal!

Should we honour those people who fly lots themselves, in the name of promoting new pilots? Or is it better to honour those who actually get the new pilots into the sky?
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Old 4th Jul 2016, 01:10
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it is very clear, isn't it, that deceit was intended from the very start.
I wonder. My feeling is that more frequently, people get drawn into something that then takes on a life of its own. e.g. perhaps you raise money for a trip, then find that you can't get access to the aircraft or insurance for a solo flight. So you agree to fly with a 'safety pilot' who doesn't touch the controls unless life or limb or R44s are at risk. So there's a small untruth that leads to bigger untruths and so on and so on... I have no idea how the situation came to be, but did she set out intending to win solo navigation trophies? I doubt it. Which isn't to say she couldn't have politely declined them.

I remain baffled. Assuming she can take off and land competently, the support crew could have still lent a hand with navigation and flight planning and paperwork (the latter being the part I find most alarming). Without being much more of an achievement, claiming it as a solo flight wouldn't have been an outright lie either. So why oh why..?

I'll admit to some ongoing curiosity as to who Jay Sata is. Initially I thought perhaps an ex-husband, but (s)he claims not to have met her in person. You said I believe that you had never met her, which isn't quite the same as having no personal connection?

Anyway, why not turn this thread into something positive. For me, part of the appeal of flying is to have a kilometre of air between myself and anybody else, and to live (hopefully) by the decisions that are mine alone to make. Are there any pilots planning similar solo flights who are still struggling to get funding? I'd be willing to make a modest donation to the cause of 'Seeing it Done Properly'.

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Old 4th Jul 2016, 02:40
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I wonder if Claire Cohen of "The Telegraph" will rewrite her article of 12 Nov 2013?The extract below must make her cringe.

But, it wasn't until she moved to New Zealand to live with her twin sister that her passion really took off. She started flying vintage aircraft, as they were cheaper - if harder to fly – graduating to work at air shows, with display teams and, more recently, Shuttleworth Museum, close to where she now lives in East Anglia.
"I understood very early on what I wanted in life," she says. "Most people get trapped in families, mortgages and kids. We just spend our lives nosing along at ground level."
That's not to say it's been a smooth path. As a woman, Curtis-Taylor faced any number of obstacles. She couldn't join the air force by virtue of being female; “although, ironically I’ve ended up having most of my training with military pilots.” (Much like Kate Middleton who, it’s been rumoured, is having lessons in a fixed-wing aircraft from Prince Harry).
"Men just take it for granted," sighs Curtis-Taylor. "They are born with a sense of entitlement and don't question it. You always feel like a bit of an outsider in such a male dominated environment.
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Old 4th Jul 2016, 05:43
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She started flying vintage aircraft, as they were cheaper - if harder to fly – graduating to work at air shows, with display teams and
Vintage aircraft cheaper to fly, really?

...work at airshows, with display teams.... - was that work just handing out brochures? I don't recall her ever doing any display flying down here in Gods Own.
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Old 4th Jul 2016, 06:36
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Can I apply for an award.

I've only done two UK to Australia flights

1993 in a Gypsy powered DH114 heron ex RN

2013 in an Aero Commander 685

Both done without fanfare or fuss paid for out of my own pocket and without the obligatory OBE (other bastards efforts)
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Old 4th Jul 2016, 06:42
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Jon Johanson deserves credit for what he achieved.

As a friend of mine is always saying you are judged by your results.
Jay, I just don't understand the position you take. You give TCT a hiding (rightfully in my opinion), but give Johanson a pass for the very same underhanded modus operandi (which resulted in awards). Your last sentence is licence to do whatever it takes to get the results you want. TCT has complied with you last sentence, and seems to be reaping the benefits.
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Old 4th Jul 2016, 07:18
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Further to your application for an award in relation to your endeavour, please answer the following:

1. Do you have long hair, wear make-up and look 'fit' in a gro-bag?

2. Do you have large assets?

3. Do you know any royalty?

4. Do you know the meaning of the phrase 'being economical with the truth'?

5. Do you believe Wikipedia?

6. Do you know how to edit websites using HTML?

If you have answered 'No' to any of the above, then unfortunately we can't consider you for an award but jolly well done for the flying bit.
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Old 4th Jul 2016, 08:55
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Megan..The difference between Johanson and TCT is he did fly his aircraft alone.

Three circumnavigations plus the South Pole trip resulted in a raft of well deserved awards.

In reply to 27/09;

Canopener is the expert when it comes to her New Zealand flying.

Instalment 2.
TCT's flying career in NZ.
It is true that TCT had an NZ CPL and C Cat instructor rating,she was employed by a flying school in Auckland for a short period of time before having her employment terminated. Her next job was as a sales rep for an aerial mapping and photography company,there was definitely no flying involved in this position but she might have gone for a ride in the companies aircraft once or twice.
TCT flew recreationally in some light aircraft,Piper Cub,replica SE5A (homebuilt 7/8 scale) and gained tail wheel experience on these types.
Now we move onto another of TCT's extraordinary claims as quoted on her website.

"Shortly after her return Tracey migrated to New Zealand and began flying in earnest. She
gained her private pilot’s licence, commercial licence and an instructor rating and, unusual
for a woman, was trained by military pilots to fly World War II aeroplanes with the New
Zealand Warbird Association."

Yes it is true that TCT was a member of NZ Warbirds but as for being trained by military pilots to fly WW11 aircraft this is a gross embellishment of the facts.In early 1992 TCT was given a share in a syndicated NA Harvard (NZ 1078).She received nearly 7 hours dual flying over a couple of months in early 1992,I might add that her instructor was NOT a military pilot but she would have been sent solo by an ex airforce pilot.TCT received a little aerobatic training in the Harvard but I don't believe she ever did aerobatics solo.As for the other WW11 aeroplanes,they were a figment of her imagination.
TCT attended many airshows (as a spectator) in NZ but was never a display pilot as reported else where.

To be continued.
page 13 of this thread post 244

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Old 4th Jul 2016, 09:26
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I guess the issue with Jon Johanson is the balance between:

1. Pushing the boundaries, breaking the rules, going further to achieve very difficult goals.
2. Putting others to considerable extra work, cost (and personal risk if they would have had to send a search party for him somewhere).

I had a friend rescued from his dinghy after trying to row the Pacific. The Australian Navy rerouted a Destroyer to go and get him and his colleague. Cost estimated at $300K+ - the Australians were not happy. Does that mean that nobody should try to row the Pacific? Perhaps, perhaps not.

Crucially, though, in both these examples they were actually doing what they said they were going to do....
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Old 4th Jul 2016, 09:42
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Flare prop

To answer you

Sorry no long hair, at 65 hair was a long lost memory

Economical with truth absolutely

Wikipedia. What's that I'm still using the encyclopedia britannica

Websites what are they

Large assets I own aircraft what do you think

Know royalty I'm an Australian republican
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Old 4th Jul 2016, 10:21
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Re Jon Johanson ..
Call me old-fashioned, but..
I regard his calculated and scheming 'main chance' acts, both at Ascension and Antarctica, reprehensible.
If it was up to me, I'd not only refuse him awards - but strip him of his licence.

That is not only pre-meditated fraud .. but potentially putting others at risk in order to achieve an ego-driven short-term goal.
It also makes me wonder just what other 'stunts' he's pulled through life in order to get his own way.
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Old 4th Jul 2016, 10:52
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Quoted 'costs' of rescue are often skewed to sound more dramatic/excessive than they really are. They are usually based on an a/craft costing X thousand/per hour and by the time the rescue took. In reality, the aircraft would still be flying somewhere else and the crew would still be paid if they were training rather than rescuing. Yes, there would often be SOME additional cost but nowhere near the figures quoted.

As regards JJ, I have read his book and found it interesting and inspirational. He didn't appear to be out to 'make a name for himself', if fact quite the opposite. And he seemed very level headed and treated the risks seriously.

If we are going to question the cost or rescuing someone who wishes to push the boundaries now and again what type of society will we be? (or what would we be now if that attitude has prevailed over the last 100 years?).
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Old 4th Jul 2016, 11:01
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Agreed on the 'big numbers' play, but with regard to the Australians, their ship had to sail 2 days in the wrong direction, followed by almost another week back to Australia (which they had just left). Before setting off again on the original mission - so I think the additional cost was more than it might otherwise have been!

The issue is also that if you required them to have insurance (to cover these possible costs) then it would be unaffordable, and so still be a discouragement to try for the big goals...
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