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Tracey Curtis-Taylor (Merged threads)

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Tracey Curtis-Taylor (Merged threads)

Old 13th Aug 2016, 18:21
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Glad this Thread has been given a new lease of life - apart from the wrongs and the rights of the affair, it is always worth a look-in to see what's going to happen next !

Old 13th Aug 2016, 19:34
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GQ2, if you had bothered to read the thread, you would have realised that the problem is not what TCT did, but what she claimed to have done (and didn't actually do).

even back in the 1930's, many of these flights were not 'proving' anything. They were seeking self-agrandisement. Nor was sponsorship absent.
At least they didn't lie about it.

Self-aggrandisement built on real achievement is one thing, self-aggrandisement based on lies and deceit is tantamount to fraud.

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Old 13th Aug 2016, 19:55
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As this is such a long thread it is worth pointing out to new readers the reason for the discussion.

Sometime around 2013 UK private pilot Tracey Curtis Taylor emerged in the national and international press with the lovingly restored Boeing Stearman Spirit of Artemis under the tag Bird in a Biplane.

This aircraft,N56200, and Tracey were sold to the media as a female pilot flying solo across Africa and later the UK to Sydney with an old aircraft and basic flying controls. The storyline was paying homage to old female aviators but the real reason was sponsorship advertising Artemis Investments and making reality a tv programme.

The media fell for the story hook line and sinker. It is rare for one newspaper to make a mistake in headlines but the world press and TV were united in describing the flights.

The one word that stood out in all coverage was SOLO.

Of course the truth was somewhat different. Our 'Bird in a Biplane was not a solo pilot but flying all these "adventures" with a man up front who also happened to be an airline pilot and instructor. He also had rebuilt and owns the aircraft.

However she boasted of "seat of the pants flying with basic stick and rudder" despite having full state of the art navigation aids.

I suspect all involved knew the risk they would be exposed but guessed it would not make headlines as the public have short term memories. Papers and TV are very reluctant to admit they may have misreported.

Which is where we are now.

This Pprune thread has gone back over the history and press coverage of her so called "flying adventures" to reveal the truth.

Indeed the way it is developing it has all the ingredients of a Hollywood movie.

Throw in a a few UK Royals who pop out now and again to do press promotion and a short chequered flying instructor job that lasted 18 months in Auckland New Zealand and you have the basic plot.

Tracey claims in press,tv and radio interviews that she is trying to break down barriers to women in aviation. Her mission she suggests is to overcome the obstacles that women face. However she never mentions Ewald Gritsch,the airline pilot in the front seat on all her publicity seeking flights. He is quite camera shy but seen here on arrival in Sydney.

During her days at Ardmore,New Zealand, and her wiki claims(https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tracey_Curtis-Taylor) of being a member of the NZ Warbirds she must have met Liz Needham?

Liz is New Zealand's most experienced woman pilot. She first went solo on St Valentine’s day in 1974.

She might be one of the most successful and accomplished women pilots in NZ but Liz does not have a wiki page. So I think she deserves some publicity here.

From her aero club beginnings,just as Tracey had, Liz Needham worked hard and she built up one of New Zealand's premier aviation training establishments.
Warbird Adventure Rides

She has continued to where she is currently a Boeing 767 Captain for Air New Zealand.

In her spare time she has become a huge influence within the general aviation and NZ Warbird scenes, logged over 25,000 hours of flying, a lot of it using her A category instructors rating. This rating is awarded to the top instructors in New Zealand, and Liz was the first female pilot to achieve this.

Compare that to Tracey Curtis Taylor who in the 30 years flying experinece claimed has in my calculations about 1600 hours in her log book with just a basic NZ C licence.

The question is does Liz Needham remember our Bird in a Biplane and her NZ Warbirds flying?

Liz has has for many yesrs flown her own Harvard in the Roaring Forties aerobatic display team as well as displaying her P40 Kitty-hawk. I understand Tracey was undertaking similar flying in her Harvard at Ardmore towards the end of the 1990's so they must have flown in formation?

I await news from Auckland NZ

Last edited by Mike Flynn; 13th Aug 2016 at 21:46.
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Old 13th Aug 2016, 22:45
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Thanks for your input to this discussion, GQ2.
An interesting post, even if 80% of it was stating the 'bleeding obvious'.

It was also noted that you suspected that a number of contributors to this thread are 'not even pilots'.
Well .. please be careful.

Here's hoping to hear more of your thoughts on this most interesting subject.
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Old 14th Aug 2016, 05:02
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Tracey claims in press,tv and radio interviews that she is trying to break down barriers to women in aviation. Her mission she suggests is to overcome the obstacles that women face.
The female pilots in the family reckon they've never faced any particular barriers vis a vis males. One thing they do agree on, is that TCT has put the female equality issue, where it does or might exist, back a few centuries. By that they mean, getting there by the very fact that she is a woman, using female charm and wiles to fleece well meaning individuals, and dumping them once a particular aim has been achieved. Her number of partners came in for mention in this context, sorry Sam, no offence is /was intended to your good self.

GQ2, no one in my mind is objecting to the fact that TCT is making the flight, or her use of modern aids in order to make the flight, or making a film to promote aviation, or advancing the female cause. What they are objecting to is the blatant lying of the manner in which the flight is being made ie solo, circumnavigation, etc etc
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Old 14th Aug 2016, 06:42
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Many thanks for your post GQ2.

I am certainly not knocking anyone for going out and having an adventure,sponsored or otherwise.

However the TCT story was sold to the press as a solo event.

There would have been no interest or publicity had they known there were two pilots on board.

Despite the Daily Mail story some weeks ago TCT and her sponsors refuse to admit the truth but instead continue to peddle this yarn of her solo efforts promoting women in aviation.

If we go back three years, before Tracey started her promotional flights, the newspapers were carrying stories of British Airways trying to recruit more female pilots.

BAA statistics show that the last decade, the US saw an almost 20 per cent growth in the number of female pilots.
And a significant increase in hiring female pilots has been observed within emerging markets, according to BAA.
In India women make up almost 11 per cent of the pilot market: in 2010 ‘Air India’ had more than 130 female pilots.
In Europe most of the female pilots are employed by the largest airlines. Lufthansa has 300, British Airways 175, and AerLingus 41 for example.
BAA says it has attracted more enquiries about aviation training from women in recent months than before.

Read more: British Airways in drive to recruit more female pilots | Daily Mail Online
Follow us: @MailOnline on Twitter | DailyMail on Facebook
Looking at these old figures from 2013 the people of India do not need to see a couple of wealthy people standing in front of a highly sponsored biplane to encourage more women pilots.

source Indian women pilots soar past global average - Times of India

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Old 14th Aug 2016, 07:31
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I have not seen this posted here but some things seem to have gone missing.
HCAP list of award winners. TCT is there.
A feeling of utter disgust is the best way to describe this absolute travesty. Why? Why? Why? What is it HCAP is afraid of? Do they not realise how dishonourable they have now become and the damage to their integrity.

As for sexism in aviation. I experienced just a small amount which I ignored and it went away. This sexism business has been exaggerated out of all proportion and, just to even things up a bit, women can be very resentful of other women doing things such as flying, driving a lorry etc. I can honestly say that the vast majority of males I have flown with have been great - no problems. TCT is doing women no favours at all. This is all such utter nonsense and I am still stunned that it has got this far despite all the efforts to enlighten people.
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Old 14th Aug 2016, 20:22
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You have to get the whole picture to understand the truth on this story Lind1795.

Try google Tracey Curtis Taylor Prince Michael. Then click on pictures.

UK Royals are not usually so approachable or supportive.

Very few allow close contact in pictures.

The average punter would never get a selfie like that.

HRH Prince Michael is a liveryman of the HCAP but also connected via pictures and his interests to TCT.
I have it on good authority Prince Michael has dined with TCT and Ewald following HCAP meetings.

If I am wrong I would ask either Tracey Curtis Taylor or Prince Michaels office to correct me.

Tim Peake could have orbited the moon three times and the 'Honourable'? Company of Air Pilots would have still given TCT her equal Masters Medal.

Tracey Curtis Taylor is listed on Wiki as
Tracey Curtis-Taylor (born 1962) is a British aviator. She is a commercial pilot and flying instructor and also undertakes global flights in vintage aircraft.
However I estimate a maximum of 1700 hours in the last claimed 30 years of flying,she has no visible means of support, so what business is she in?

Please understand this thread is about a public figure as cited here https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tracey_Curtis-Taylor

In laymans terms the HCAP are between a rock and a hard place. They are not stupid people but can not
deny Tracey getting her Masters Medal.

How many ordinary people get to do this?

The picture above was Prince Michael of Kent taking Tracey Curtis Taylor on an army jaunt from Battersea Heliport in London. This picture dates from January 2015 so before her so called expedition to Australia.

This quote from her site..
I had a brilliant visit with Prince Michael of Kent to the Museum of Army Flying, Middle Wallop, Hampshire on January 28th.We flew in a Lynx helicopter from Battersea Heliport on a freezing blustery day, and were given a tour of the museum and told about their very exciting development plans. Had a great lunch with the museum team and their VIP guests, and also caught up with a few old friends who were there to support the occasion. I intend to take the Stearman back to Middle Wallop in the spring. It is
a fantastic place, I can't recommend a visit highly enough.
Jan 2015
source Tracey Curtis Taylor - Aviatrix, Adventurer, Inspirational Speaker
The Army Lynx and crew cost big money to collect TCT and Prince Michael to position to Middle Wallop and return. The question is why was TCT with Prince Michael on a visit to the museum when she had only just done a minor dual flight from Cape Town to Goodwood?

And of course the bigger picture is how will the so called 'Hourable' Company of Air Pilots justify their awards and emerge from this?

Tracey Curtis Taylor lists her occupation on wiki as pilot and flying instructor.https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tracey_Curtis-Taylor

However she only has a UK ppl despite claims of being a display pilot. Even given minor remuneration for such displays it appears has lived in the UK for the last sixteen years working as a pilot?

I await news of her commercial flying and instructing in the UK since she left New Zealand.

She worked in a minor role at Ardmore under a pretty senior female pilot who I have agreed not to mention. (But I have mentioned so please ignore)

There are large blanks in her cv until three years ago?

Yet the LAA and HCAP are suddenly feting here.

How many ordinary pilots can get a letter deliverd from the First Sea Lord Admiral Sir George Michael Zambellas, GCB, DSC, ADC, DL, FRAe. by his minions.
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Old 14th Aug 2016, 21:41
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I'd probably leave that one alone JS, that's his own business and nothing to do with her embellishing the flights. If I recall correctly one the web postings or interviews said her profession was a diamond/jewellery appraiser or a waitress.
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Old 14th Aug 2016, 22:01
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Well this is a rumour network and this is an interesting story.

I would not want to question anyones private life but the HCAP are giving Tracey Curtis Taylor the same Masters Medal as Time Peake ,who orbited earth for six months, so we are entitled to know what skills and experience she has.

There is so much of this story floating around now so despite her media operation trying to close it down I suspect the red top tabloids will be on board very soon.

My interest is solely regarding her flying.

All the evidence is out there to suggest she has never achieved the solo flying she claims in her print and media interviews. In a word DUAL or P2.

If she wants to dispute my argument regarding her ability as an aviatrix then I challenge her to fly me from Farnborough to Luxembourg via Le Bourget in the Spirit of Artifice. Wine and lunch on me.

I am sure I can find a newpaper to pick up the tab.( Most probably the Daily Mail )

Map and compass

I await your answer Tracey

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Old 14th Aug 2016, 22:12
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So, I guess the big question would be...
Just who is, ultimately, really benefitting from all this?

From my observations, our 'supergirl in a gro-bag' is very shortly going to reach her 'use-by' date - and then, she'll be dropped like the proverbial hot potato.
We'll then find one quite resentful lady who's very likely to scream blue murder.
Some people are not very bright.
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Old 14th Aug 2016, 22:32
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Good question Stanwell.

I suspect you are correct.

I can only quote from my experience of interviewing Sheila Scott when working for the BBC in 1988.

Sadly by then her exploits and adventures were long forgotten.

Her ' mentor' and sponsor was food mixer manufacturer Ken Wood.

She died, shortly after my radio interview ,from lung cancer in a basement flat in Cambridge St London.

I understood at the time various flying charities were supporting her.

She was a cigarette smoker.

This is worth reading

Solo Flights around the World

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Old 15th Aug 2016, 18:28
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Here is the answer from Portsmouth University.

Who nominated her?

All staff and governors are invited to make nominations for the award of honorary degree. Tracey Curtis-Taylor was nominated by a member of staff.

On what basis was the honorary doctorate awarded?

The University looks for individuals who match the following criteria:
· being well known nationally or internationally

· being very distinguished in an academic area (which closely relates to one of our own)

· having a significant connection to the University, city or sub-region

· having a strong connection with the University through collaboration or support for our activities and/or external profile

The University has also honoured people in recent years who make a major contribution to its local communities (Portsmouth/Hampshire/Isle of Wight) and whose area complements some part of the University’s own community engagement. Finally, in recent years, the University has honoured people in national life whose public profile aligns well with that of the Institution.

When nominated, Tracey had just completed a 13,000 mile flight from Farnborough to Sydney. The Honorary Degrees Committee, which is responsible for determining the recipients of honorary degrees, considered Tracey to be a motivational and inspirational individual, and an excellent female role model in a male dominated field.

What connection does she have to Portsmouth?

Tracey has no direct connection to the University but has spent time in Hampshire - particularly Farnborough where some of her sponsors are based.
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Old 15th Aug 2016, 18:49
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" Portsmouth University"
"Pompey Poly" not so very long ago ( before it seemingly developed assumptions above its station).
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Old 15th Aug 2016, 19:24
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Thanks for that laugh, JS.
What impressively flexible policies, directorship and staff that institution has.
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Old 16th Aug 2016, 16:36
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It certainly is a good story which is why am so interested.

The Daily Mail have been on it for some time.

EXCLUSIVE - A bitter rivalry with Amelia Earhart, a mixed-race marriage and a ban from flying because of her menstrual cycle: The incredible and utterly tragic story of 'Lady Icarus' - the first person to fly solo across Africa

Read more: EXCLUSIVE - A bitter rivalry with Amelia Earhart, a marriage to a black man and a ban from flying because of her menstrual cycle: The incredible and utterly tragic story of 'Lady Icarus' - the first person to fly solo across Africa | Daily Mail Onlin
Follow us: @MailOnline on Twitter | DailyMail on Facebook
So what was in it for Tracey,our low houred UK ppl?

Well the Africa trip was well funded as the story above illustrates.

Tracey Curtis-Taylor got Boeing, Artemis Investment Management and ExecuJet to contribute almost £300,000.
This was matched by private investors to fund the documentary, which she hopes will lead to history at last remembering Lady Heath.
So the total funding for the dual flight with Ewald from Cape Town to Franborough was around £600,000.

That is serious loot and not the sort of cash that is thrown around.

I love this quote from Tracey Curtis Taylor....
'But she also rubbed up a lot of people the wrong way. What amuses me is she is always there with her fur coat, her pearls, her mink, this is one large Amazonian woman. She was kind of playing up to the male establishment, saying "I am flying up in an airplane eating chocolates and reading a novel." There is a lot of humour here, just sending herself up. But she is also playing the male establishment. And that is what I loved about her.
Playing the male establishment is ironic.

Sadly Lady Mary Heath did not have Prince Michael of Kent turning up at every photo opportunity.

We all know what happened to Icarus.

These days the UK tabloid Sun is the big danger for high flyers'
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Old 16th Aug 2016, 21:41
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I have it on good authority that no one at Honorable Company of Air Pilots will challenge Tracey Curtis Taylors Masters medal.

Rumour is words from above.

I would be a bit more supportive of Prince Michael of Kent,holder of a private pilots licence for fixed wing and helicopters, if I could find some pictures of him flying solo.

I guess in the upper echelons of society the servants up front do that

Hence Ewald not getting a mention anywhere on the awards game.

As a liveryman of HCAP and patron of the Light Aicraft Association Prince Mike does not appear to do much real flying

However if I am being unfair perhaps someone can post some pictures of him airborne SOLO and not being the "sole" pilot with the chauffeur in the front seat.

My posts are always supported by facts.

So here is a picture of some well connected members of the HCAP.Third from the left is Tracey Curtis Taylor and to her left is the UK Queens cousin Prince Michael. A very informal picture I am sure you will agree

Will he veto her undeserved award I want to know

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Old 16th Aug 2016, 22:17
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There is a member of the flyer forum who has posted he is a member of H(sic) CAP and that he disagrees with the award and has even registered his disagreement with his superiors.

So they are not ALL sycophants. There is one who isn't. Just one mind ;-)
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Old 16th Aug 2016, 23:10
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There is an old saying in newspapers that a picture speaks a thousand words.

So the support for TCT and her so called flying adventures is out there if you add her name to Prince Michael in a Google search.

At the very top of British society they say never explain and never complain.

In my opinion the links between Prince Michael,the Royal Navy,Light Aircraft Association,HCAP,Brooklands,etc and Tracey Curtis Taylor suggest the minor royals are supportive of her so called 'flying adventures'.

How the members of these organisations can look each other in the face and honestly make awards beats me.

Pictures such as the one below ,with TCT alongside the Queens grand daughter Zara Phillips and her husband Mike Tindall ,suggest big sponsors and connections

Here is Zara again with an Artemis boat at Cowes week. Wearing an Artemis jacket!

Artemis have never commented on the whole TCT flying saga.

And despite all the allegations here on Prune neither has Tracey.

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Old 19th Aug 2016, 19:48
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In fact I am told that a number of HCAP 'members' have raised the issue. I have 'had words' and also tried to get a response from Artemis. All has fallen on deaf ears. The refusal of Artemis to engage, if only to tell me to 'go away', gives off a nasty odour. The HCAP is of course a semi private organisation, but Artemis is a publicly listed company that has responsibility for looking after the money of others and abiding by strict financial regulations...........
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