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Tracey Curtis-Taylor (Merged threads)

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Tracey Curtis-Taylor (Merged threads)

Old 19th Oct 2016, 16:36
  #1701 (permalink)  
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I have no interest in joining the LAA. To paraphrase a comedian - I wouldn't want to join a club that would have ME as a member.

No one is using you as a puppet either, no one is forcing you to vote one way or the other; that choice is yours to make freely. All we are doing is giving information on a public forum that you can either take or leave.
As for my "lacking the balls" comment, yes perhaps a little too harsh and I apologize for that, however, I see an apathy evolving and a desire to take the path of least resistance rather than analyzing the information that is now available and making a fully informed decision.

Not wishing to be confrontational at all, just telling it as I see it: We have all been duped. I am happy to wait and see what happens on Saturday - either way, that is when the brown stuff will hit the fan.

If TCT never set out to mislead, why has she not ever publicly corrected the endless press reports about her SOLO flights. In one interview (written) she was asked something along the lines of ..if you were not flying solo who would you want to fly with..." She responded with "Although this was primarily a SOLO flight...I often took members of the crew to share the experience..." REALLY? Those members being Ewald for some 90% of the flights. Hardly sharing the experience with someone who has perhaps spent more time in the air than I have in a car.

Found the article: http://www.pilotweb.aero/features/q_...ylor_1_4051082
Old 19th Oct 2016, 16:59
  #1702 (permalink)  
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Ok. I'll tell you what concerns me..... I am a member of the LAA. It appears to me that most of the protagonists aren't.
Some of those could be a jilted boyfriend, an acned youth who spends his spare time trolling or any other internet hero for all I know.
Surely it is the evidence that's important, not the names or pseudonyms of the messengers bringing the evidence to your attention. You have no idea who I am, nor I you, but does that make my posts with factual content any less valid (see all the links to sites stating solo expedition, even the sponsors and the links to her own website via the Internet Archive: Wayback Machine)?

I started from a position of scepticism about the criticism of her adventures, but following my own research, guided by other posts and other evidence, I am now firmly of the belief that there is a major discrepancy between what she did and what she claimed to do (then retracted), and that the acclaim and awards are based on PR, not real achievements so should be withdrawn.

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Old 19th Oct 2016, 17:03
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I am an ATPL holder advancing into middle age. I own a PA32 and an LAA homebuilt. I have voted to take the award away from T C-T as I believe it was given in good faith for an "achievement" that was at best a good jolly, at worst a publicity seeking ripoff.

Because I own an LAA homebuilt I am forced to be a member of the LAA and pay their subs and other fees. I require the LAA to stand up and prove to me that they are fit to hold the role they have within GA. There have been various weasel words from the LAA about this subject, I require honesty. If they cannot be honest about this then I believe they are not fit to hold the (effectively) regulatory role they do. Can I trust them to be utterly honest about permit type approvals etc? I don't think the LAA realise that some of their membership see this subject in such a way. It is not just about some pilot flying a flight others have flown before, and over stating their prowess, it is now for the LAA to prove their integrity, to prove their suitability for their role and for T C-T to finally be up-front.

Finally: I have met the lady concerned, at Goodwood. I was very unimpressed. I have met her type before, I am never impressed by pilots boasting of their brilliance when others have achieved so much more with so much less.

If you require proof of my bona fides i am happy to show you my license and log books so that you may see I am no troll, just a professional aviator who requires standards from all those he has to work with, just as my employer, fellow pilots, ATC, the CAA and LAA require certain standards of me.

Finally T C-T, if you read this, I flew 19 solo, single engine transatlantic trips in the late 90's, early 2000's, 16 solo trips to sub-Saharan Africa, three to the Cape. it isn't difficult, and if you think it is then, as I have posted before, you are an utterly inadequate pilot, worthy of re-training, not awards.

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Old 19th Oct 2016, 17:05
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why did you not join the LAA so that you could vote?
I can't speak for anyone else; but in my case it's because I fly a CofA aircraft, mostly IFR for business and don't think that I would contribute much nor would I gain much.

Like you, I came to this thread agnostic about the rights and wrongs. I have to say that, having reviewed the factual evidence presented (and ignored what I agree is some fairly unreasonable hyperbole) my personal conclusion is that the central criticisms of Ms Curtis-Taylor are pretty much right.

Even if you ignore the claims made by her former logistics manager (and I don't) who was closely involved in much of the project, the photographic evidence alone seems fairly convincing.

As regards my personal profile: I am an instrument rated pilot flying about 250 hours a year. A good part of that is flying WW2 veteran aircrew who did earn their brevet the hard way.
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Old 20th Oct 2016, 05:18
  #1705 (permalink)  
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[always listed sources so it would be unfair to post the above without stating the lawyers letter came from Lorna Skinner at Matrix Partners.
Oh dear, oh dear. Has our intrepid aviatrix gone and gotten all lawyered up with an online defamation practitioner? May I suggest she reads George Carmans biography before she heads down that tricky glide slope.

Last edited by piperboy84; 20th Oct 2016 at 05:30.
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Old 20th Oct 2016, 06:07
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Desperation stakes now, eh?
Was this not raised on here many months ago?

The delicious irony..
To quote Jonathan Aitken again:
"The fight against falsehood and those who peddle it."
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Old 20th Oct 2016, 10:10
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This aviatrix puts T-C-T to shame.


Note the lack of any passengers. Her flights were both solo and sole pilot.
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Old 20th Oct 2016, 12:29
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if you feel so strongly about this matter, why did you not join the LAA so that you could vote?
I feel strongly about TCT misleading, and repeatedly, over a long period, seeking self aggrandizement, including identifying herself with privilege she has not earned. I do not feel strongly about the HCAP, or LAA. Indeed, I had never heard of the HCAP until this topic included it. To me, the HCAP, and LAA are on the slippery slope to embarrass themselves, but that is theirs to do, with one thought:

I understand that the LAA is the "regulator" of certified aircraft in the UK? (I stand to be corrected on that, I'm not in the UK). In a role in which participation [in the LAA] becomes mandatory for a person because of the aircraft they have chosen to operate, I think that the LAA bears more responsibility for objectivity.

Were participation in the LAA be completely optional to everyone, I would see their business as entirely voluntary and private - if a person does not care to participate or agree, they are not required to. However, if people must participate and support the LAA for non certified aircraft operation, (which in and of itself seems a great idea), perhaps the LAA leadership should be more cautious about making awards in the name of the organization, and this it's members - who might not agree.

The awards are largely "tempest in a teapot" stuff, but there is s principle of honour to be maintained here the pride in doing something well. Knowing amateur aircraft builders as I do, there is an excellent sense of pride and honour in that segment of GA. Having a poser Walter Mitty claim a dishonorably awarded accolade from the LAA dishonours all other members.

As for TCT getting lawyer'd up, that's going to be fun to watch from the sidelines! Where most people would have accepted her making a few clear retractions, and stepping back quietly, she instead seems poised to take this to the next level, and distort the meaning of more otherwise pretty clear words!
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Old 20th Oct 2016, 13:07
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I'm no lawyer but I would have thought that Lorna will have a bit of an uphill struggle proving her case. I also believe that the last thing that TCT and her sponsors would like is for the whole matter to be thrown under a spotlight and brought to the attention of a much wider audience, something that the paper's and aviation press would relish.

My bet is that Lorna's letter (assuming that it was sent by her) was a polite attempt to get the matter swept under the carpet. More like an early bluff in a game of poker that has several cards yet to be dealt. As a betting man I would not like to be holding TCT's cards, which incidentally, and because she didn't come clean when given the opportunity, she appears to have dealt to herself.

Bring it on I say.
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Old 20th Oct 2016, 13:07
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The committees of organisations like these are almost always made up primarily from post-middle-aged successful business men who probably have an over inflated idea of their importance, both personally and from a corporate point of view.

To get such bodies to admit that despite their impeccable business credentials, titles and positions in bodies of such august and mighty import that they'd been duped by a slick, self-aggrandising woman and especially if the duping involves their most prestigious award is going to be a massive uphill struggle. Human nature in that situation is to deny and refute the allegations to the point of ludicrousness in a futile bid to avoid looking fallible. Its all about face, and guys like that just don't do losing face, and they don't do publicly fallible either.

Expect endless solid, blinkered, excuse laden denial and resistance, but good luck.
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Old 20th Oct 2016, 13:13
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On another point, did anyone dig further into the legality of flights carried out by Ewald and TCT before they were granted their FAA licences? Perhaps this deserves a bit of investigating?
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Old 20th Oct 2016, 15:03
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Anyone free in London on the 16th November?

Transglobe Expedition Trust lecture at the Royal Geographical Society - The Scientific Exploration Society

I wonder how genuine adventurers such as Steve Venables and the legendary ex-army Ranulph Fiennes feel being associated with TCT?

I wonder if there may be questions aimed at Mr. Fiennes and Mr. Venables on how they would react to someone in arctic exploration/mountaineering claiming, or at least not correcting the impression of competing a trip or ascent 'unsupported' when in fact it was?
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Old 20th Oct 2016, 15:05
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Originally Posted by Stanwell
Please don't ask awkward questions, Hadley.
After all, the NTSB report on that unfortunate 'oopsy-daisy' at Winslow Arizona categorised the truncated flight as "Private"
and the reason for it as being "Personal".
Funny you should mention the ol' "NTSB report", Stanwell. At the risk of introducing some "flight" element back into this thread...
The NTSB Report Synopsis opens with some rather interesting words: "NTSB investigators may not have traveled in support of this investigation and used data provided by various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report."

The NTSB Report Full Narrative has some rather interesting phrases:
"In a written statement to the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) investigator-in-charge (IIC), the pilot reported that ..."
"The pilot further reported that ..."
"The pilot stated that..."
"The pilot reported that..."
"The pilot added that..."
So that "NTSB report" - well, to my ears, anyway - sounds much more like "this is the NTSB reporting on what was reported to them" than it does "this is the NTSB reporting their investigation findings".
Since I'm at the keyboard, here's some things what have been itching away at the back of the mind for a while now, unscratched, and that someone might be able to shed some light on:

Originally Posted by NTSB Report Full Narrative
The pilot further reported that during takeoff from runway 29, the airplane accelerated and climbed out normally, with the tachometer indicating 2,250 rpm. As the airplane was about 50 feet above ground level, it began to descend. The pilot stated that in order to avoid powerlines, she performed a left turn to maintain clearance, and verified the throttle, mixture, propeller, fuel, and carburetor heat settings. Subsequently, the airplane struck the ground, ...
So, just to be clear - me being a bear of little brain and all - and looking back on my little adventure as described bove, here's the sorts of things that are puzzling me:
* My airplane accelerated and climbed out normally, but then at about 50 feet above ground level, it began to descend.
Why didn't I lower the nose, close the throttle and land ahead on the remainder of that 7,100ft (2,164m) runway? Maybe put in a wee bit of a sideslip?
* My airplane climbed out normally, but at about 50 feet above ground level, it began to descend.
In what universe could I ever describe a climb to 50 ft agl, followed by an involuntary and unchecked descent to the site of a crash as a normal climbout?
* Later on, I'm wittering on about "density altitude" to the media and anyone else who might listen to me, hoping all the while that they don't know what I'm talking about but at the same time hoping that they will think that I do.
What I do know regarding density altitude is that
- my airplane's takeoff and landing runs (as published on a website by a bunch called 3G Aviation, who apparently know quite a lot about my airplane and, who knows, could even be in a position to advise me of a more accurate figure) can be up to 900 feet (300m).
- the ambient air temperature is about 80F (27C).
- the elevation of Winslow–Lindbergh Regional Airport is 4,941 feet (1,506 m) and currently has a pressure altitude of 4,757 feet (1,450m).
- courtesy of the nice people at the FAA and their highly useful publication about Density Altitude, I ought to add at least 130% to my normal takeoff distance, giving me a figure of about 700m (2,100ft) .
- I'm thinking the same may well be true regarding my landing distance, hence it would also also in the region of 700m. I might 300*2.33have "modern safety features like hydraulic disc brakes", which might help me a bit.
So why didn't I round those figures up a bit, and tell myself that if I wasn't up-and-away by the central intersection at 1000m, I was aborting with 1000m of tarmac left in front of me?
* Where did these powerlines come from?
I mean, there's no mention of them in the airfield data; a heads-up about brush at the end of 29 certainly, but powerlines? Hmmmm.
When I look on Google Street View to try and jog my memory, I can't for the life of me see the powerlines that would have been a concern for me at all, unless I'm already heading in a direction that I shouldn't be at 50ft agl and descending, so I'm really not at all sure why I performed a left turn to maintain clearance.
* My airplane began to descend (from about 50 feet above ground) and I had then performed a left turn to maintain clearance of powerlines (so I'm below 50ft, descending and trying to avoid powerlines)
So I thought now was a good time and place to have verified the throttle, mixture, propeller, fuel, and carburetor heat settings.
Whatever happened to all my pilot training? Where did it all go? What was I think of?
Here I am, I'm just feet off the ground, I'm avoiding ground features and I'm about to make a forced landing in a few seconds.
- Am I closing the throttle? Doesn't sound like it.
- Am I moving mixture to idle/cutoff. Doesn't sound like it.
- Does it matter what I do with the pitch setting. Probably not.
- Am I shutting off the fuel? Doesn't sound like it.
- Is the presence or otherwise of carb ice going to significantly affect the outcome of this landing? Again, probably not.
- Did I even mention magnetos or master switches? Oops.
Where did all my (albeit, self-proclaimed) skill and experience acquired as a display pilot, a commercial pilot and an instructor go to? Having been "fortunate in being trained predominantly by military pilots", what use was that when the chips were down?

How did I manage to turn what should have been a little bit of flying excitement, followed by a wee bit of unscheduled maintenance, into such a plane crash?

Sometimes I feel as if I wasn't there for my own crash as I've described it, or that someone has been moving ground features around at the airport and environs since it all happened - someone please help me solve this conundrum
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Old 20th Oct 2016, 17:34
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Hello WeeJeem,

More than a month ago I contacted some at the airfield to try and establish a few facts....notably the powerlines, the point at which the take off run commenced, the fuel uplift and a few other details that I would rather not mention here. I'm saving up the detail for later, depending on how TCT decides to play her hand over the next few weeks.

It may well prove to be the case that TCT has omitted some of the facts when telling her side of the story to her new lawyer friend, as well as possibly also to her sponsors and the FAA. It seems that omitting to mention some of the facts, or dare I say exaggerating them, is a speciality of hers.
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Old 20th Oct 2016, 18:05
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I think the indelible and openly recorded audit trail of remarks, images and "reinterpretations" by the protagonist over the years, recorded on several cross-linking internet sites ( some of her own creation) would make any court case entertaining, to say the least.
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Old 20th Oct 2016, 18:05
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tangential but human nature has been discussed and I thinking sweeping stereotypical generalisations about people, whatever they do, are slightly absurd.

However...some years back a business I was MD (and shareholder) off was subjected to a considerable loss because of the actions of a ego-mad self publicising, so-called "award - winning" businesswoman. Basically, in old money a suited up con-artist.

As luck would have it (no details will be supplied) I had it within my grasp to kick her firmly where it hurts (in her ego) because I had "the keys to the vault".

She immediately lawyered up and hit me with some pretty vicious stuff. But since it would have been the business that would have suffered, in the almost totally unlikely event she followed through, I would have been personally immune, therefore I was on the verge of calling her bluff.

And then I thought of my responsibility to my employees and did what almost any good business owner would do and let it go.

I have to tell you I have regretted that decision ever since. It is not often in life you get to hold such a person to account and as businesslike as my decision was, I wish I had gone the other way.

Just a wee tale for the thread. No hidden meaning whatsoever.
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Old 20th Oct 2016, 18:41
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I have been alerted to this statement on the Bird In a Biplane site.

A small number of recent articles about my flights have suggested or implied that I have misrepresented or have sought to mislead people into believing that I undertook my flights alone and without support. I am considering taking legal action against the individuals who were the sources for these articles as I consider them to be part of a course of conduct designed to cause damage and distress.

The facts are:

I have never made false assertions about the nature of my flights and I dismiss the suggestion that they are "mired in controversy". Any controversy that has arisen has been as a result of the actions of the individuals referred to above.

As I have stated previously, I began with the intention of trying to fly the Africa flight solo (as the original descriptive materials from Nylon films show) but a combination of elements resulted in fundamental changes being made to the nature of that expedition. Several people flew with me on multiple legs between Cape Town and the UK. These included sponsors, film crew and my engineer, Ewald Gritsch.

The expedition was project managed by Nylon Films and they controlled the expedition website 'Cape Town to Goodwood' and its promotional information and sub-contractors. I have never sought to mislead anyone about the way that my flights were undertaken. It is clear from what I say about the Africa flight and subsequent expeditions that they were not solo flights and that I was accompanied by a support crew.

Ewald Gritsch is not my flying instructor and nor did he fly my aeroplane at any material time (click here to see statement from Ewald Gritsch himself). Specifically, he did not fly my aeroplane instead of me during any of the flights comprising the Africa, Australia or US expeditions. Ewald's primary role in all of these expeditions has been to provide engineering, technical and flight planning support. He is my principal crew and the only person who is fully qualified to look after the aeroplane in what have been some very testing circumstances. I say “material time” above because he has flown my aeroplane for the purposes of providing engineering and technical support and for recreational purposes.

As a result of the difficult experiences in Africa we adopted an entirely different approach for the Australia and US expeditions. These were managed through my company, Bird in a Biplane. At no time was there any suggestion that these later expeditions were solo flights, although some of the press coverage erroneously reported that they were. I cannot control what other people say about what I do, whether it be in the media or otherwise.

Ewald and I undertook all of the logistical planning for the UK to Australia flight and with the support of one of my principal sponsors, Boeing, and the Britain is Great Campaign, were able to build an extensive outreach programme around the expedition, connecting with young people and raising the profile of women in aviation around the world. This will feature prominently in the documentary film which is currently being edited.

I consider the real achievement of the past five years not just a flying feat, but the sustained effort of raising the funding and building the network of international support for my outreach programme which made the whole programme possible.

Tracey Curtis-Taylor
Tracey Curtis Taylor - Aviatrix, Adventurer, Inspirational Speaker
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Old 20th Oct 2016, 19:02
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It is clear from what I say about the Africa flight and subsequent expeditions that they were not solo flights

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Old 20th Oct 2016, 19:38
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I have never sought to mislead anyone about the way that my flights were undertaken. It is clear from what I say about the Africa flight and subsequent expeditions that they were not solo flights and that I was accompanied by a support crew.
I disagree. From the photo of an award being presented, and held by TCT (post #1450), as correctly quoted in that post:

In the image the certificate clearly states ...
Tracey Curtis-Taylor

I believe issued very recently.
What action did TCT take to assure that the award stated correctly the accomplishment for which it was issued? Or, did TCT just accept an award, issued wrongly, and allow the issuer and all present to be misled?

For myself, for the few occasions where an award or accreditation has been issued to me with an error, I have withdrawn it from view, and asked that it be corrected, perhaps TCT would do the same? Even now?

If there were one isolated error/oversight, it would be of no importance to the pilot population. However, this ignorance/supression of the truth has been a regularly recurring theme with TCT, based upon the objective evidence presented in this thread alone.

I read the quoted passage from TCT as quite inadequate in clearing the air, in light of the objective information presented.
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Old 20th Oct 2016, 19:45
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Here you go Tracey check out this site https://www.jcb.com/en-us/about/rental
Go rent yourself a JCB.
You can even add qualified JCB driver to your CV.

I have e-mailed the Telegraph this afternoon asking for clarification on a quote from 2015. If I get a response I ill share :-)

I have also had a close look at the photos of the crash at Wilnslow. Nearest telegraph poles in the climbout are about 720metres beyond the 11 piano keys. WeeJeem's niggles in his EXCELLENT post really do not add up to produce a believable sequence of events, Ewald's page also states it was the contaminated fuel that dropped engine RPM.

I would be intrigued to see just what has come back from Deefer Dog's enquiries.

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