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Bird in a Biplane

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Bird in a Biplane

Old 12th Oct 2022, 20:22
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Bird in a Biplane

There is a ghostwritten book coming out soon.

Bird
Douglas Wight, Tracey Curtis-Taylor

Tracey Curtis-Taylor created headlines around the world with three epic flights in a 1942 Boeing Stearman biplane. Paying homage to two historic female aviators, she flew from Cape Town to Goodwood in 2013, from London to Australia in 2015 and, two years later, completed a transcontinental flight across the USA, after surviving a plane crash during the expedition.

But her daring exploits came at a huge personal cost.

For the first time and with searing honesty, Tracey tells, in breath-taking detail, the remarkable story of how she overcame extreme adversity to complete her three epic journeys.

In Bird, her unique and action-packed memoir, she also tells how she cheated death twice Ė once in a high-speed boating accident and again when her historic Stearman crashed in the Arizona desert; how her unconventional upbringing sparked her spirit of adventure; and how she fulfilled her dreams only after overcoming a series of near-critical setbacks.
Source Andrew Lownie Literary Agency :: Book :: Bird


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Old 12th Oct 2022, 21:17
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Mike Flynn I understand you're an accomplished writer ...

Call me a cynic but should this book be a little economical around its coverage in some areas I suppose there could be an opportunity for a sequel of sorts. Probably wouldn't be a best seller but something along the lines of "Duck+Drake in a Biplane; the truth and the aftermath" might be of interest to some?
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Old 12th Oct 2022, 23:24
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More feathers are going to fly.
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Old 13th Oct 2022, 05:23
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Does she elaborate on the "SOLO" claims? Since she claims "searing honesty, Tracey tells, in breath-taking detail" the lies were one of the elements that "created headlines around the world".
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Old 13th Oct 2022, 08:50
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Surely she cheated death a third time by ground taxiing into a helicopter?
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Old 13th Oct 2022, 16:13
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Iím reposting a link from the first post that is easily overlooked. Itís worth a read, particularly if you feel that you might buy the book!

Andrew Lownie Literary Agency :: Authors :: Tracey Curtis-Taylor
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Old 15th Oct 2022, 18:01
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Oh dear. There really was a time to have left it all alone to die a quiet death. And I really though that she had, for her own good.

But possibly being short of cash, or simply sheer greed, or even feeling starved of the oxygen of publicity can have odd and regrettable effects on people of a certain publicity-hungry disposition.
[in] "searing honesty, Tracey tells, in breath-taking detail"
[how]
She worked with the Fighter Collection at Duxford, helping to organise the Flying Legends Air Show and basing her 1941 Ryan Recruit aircraft with the Shuttleworth Collection, in Beds, for eight years, during which she regularly took part in the summer flying displays.
I thought that particular detail had been thoroughly debunked as total garbage and fanciful mis-association a long time ago. Can anyone confirm or refute the claim to have "taken part in flying displays … with the Shuttleworth collection"?

Even the basic concept of this being a ghost-written book is comical. Given that she failed at taxying, crashed in the desert, didn't fly solo as claimed etc, etc, are we now to understand that she can't even write a book either?
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Old 16th Oct 2022, 00:36
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Originally Posted by pilotmike View Post
Can anyone confirm or refute the claim to have "taken part in flying displays Ö with the Shuttleworth collection"?
Her Ryan Recruit was based at Old Warden airfield around 2012-13 (probably longer, I haven't got exact dates) but was never part of the Shuttleworth collection. She did fly it as a private aircraft during the Shuttleworth Trust Flying Day at Old Warden on April 19, 2013, and likely on other occasions also, but AFAIK she was never a Shuttleworth collection pilot.

The bio is careful not to claim such a thing, just to imply it.

https://www.targeta.co.uk/shuttleworth2013.htm
https://www.targeta.co.uk/pages/131_5944w7.htm

Let's not get into all this again - you don't have to buy the book!
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Old 16th Oct 2022, 10:04
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Fact: Every single post on here - irrespective of content and viewpoint - and every post on any other social media platform, will be greeted with a fist pump by everyone associated with publicising this work. If you want to help book sales, and the subsequent tv & radio interviews, post away.

Otherwise, resist the urge and stay away, no matter what your feelings.

And on that quick note - I'm out.
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Old 26th Oct 2022, 20:45
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The saga will continue because of the allegations against the Light Aircraft Association and others who are described as “several men with personal grudges”. Perhaps I am one as the journalist who exposed her teams economy with the truth. Personally I am happy to question Tracey in any BBC interview and compare my long my career with the BBC and other prestigious organisations such as Reuters and my long distance flying.

None of Tracey Curtis Taylors adventures were solo and were just expensive publicity stunts that went wrong when the truth emerged.Boeing emerged with egg on their face culminating in the crash in Arizona.

I have never met any of the people in this story and have no axe to grind apart from the separation of fact and fiction.
Below is the promotion from Foyles bookshop.


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Old 26th Oct 2022, 21:24
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Mike,

I note the synopsis does not mention the word 'solo', so much of it could be considered hype, rather than outright untruth.

However if she names these men in text anywhere, and ascribes their actions to 'personal grudges' I imagine that could be actionable. I doubt she'd be qualified to speak for them.
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Old 27th Oct 2022, 21:10
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Mike,

It seems to me that as a story about her journey it could be of interest to some, she may have toned down the 'solo' claim, and I suppose in publishing it she's weighed up any negative personal issues that may arise. Perhaps this would make it less fictional per se, although whether she names and impugns other people remains to be seen.

However from a personal perspective I won't be reading it, although I read many aviation autobiographies, as I tend to prefer those that are more factual and self-effacing than the synopsis for this one suggests. A book that represents these values to me is perhaps something like Jean Batten's My life, or even Beryl Markham's West with the night, of which Hemingway (while acknowledging her to be unpleasant and a high-grade bitch) commented "She has written so well, and marvelously well, that I was completely ashamed of myself as a writer".

Otherwise I recollect your moniker change, and probably crossed my eyes just as much the first time I read that letter as now. I was reminded then, as now, of Arkell v Pressdram, which I'm sure you're aware of...

Last edited by First_Principal; 27th Oct 2022 at 21:14. Reason: formatting and grammar
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Old 28th Oct 2022, 10:27
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I guess we will have to wait for the book before passing comments or reviews.

I have never bothered with aviation fiction apart from W E Johns Biggles in my primary school days. One of my favourite books is Ocean Flying by Louise Sacchi . She was an American pilot who ran a successful air ferry company in the 1970's. She personally delivered more than 300 light aircraft to customers throughout the world. This required numerous solo crossings of the great oceans, usually with just one engine, at a time when there was no GPS and aviators had to rely on simple navigation aids and their own dead-reckoning skills. Even with extra fuel tanks installed, her aircraft were often operating at the limit of their range and Sacchi knew that if she ever had to ditch there would be little chance of survival.
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Old 28th Oct 2022, 11:46
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Originally Posted by First_Principal View Post
Mike,

It seems to me that as a story about her journey it could be of interest to some, she may have toned down the 'solo' claim, and I suppose in publishing it she's weighed up any negative personal issues that may arise. Perhaps this would make it less fictional per se, although whether she names and impugns other people remains to be seen.
My understanding is that the whole crux of the matter was the meaning of the word “solo”.

I was quite interested in the venture until it became obvious that the word was being incorrectly used and that people in high places were being used as top cover. I felt obliged to point this out to the hierarchy of HCAP because as an Upper Freeman I felt their award was being mistakenly given, bringing the organisation into disrepute. The wording appertaining to the award was subtly changed but the award stood. I can only deduce that this was because of potential embarrassment this might have to certain personal friends of Ms TCT, high up within the HCAP organisation.
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Old 28th Oct 2022, 12:46
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I felt their award was being mistakenly given, bringing the organisation into disrepute. The wording appertaining to the award was subtly changed but the award stood. I can only deduce that this was because of potential embarrassment this might have to certain personal friends of Ms TCT, high up within the HCAP organisation.
Hear hear....
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Old 28th Oct 2022, 12:51
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I am sure it will be a wonderful ghost-written book. In similar vein to the ghost-flown solo exploits.
I won't be buying it but will wait until it is filling shelves in charity shops and I will happily give my money to them. At which point I'll give it a read so I am at least aware of the content this time around.

I am sure it will make for interesting discussion on here.

There will be more facts in one of these:



First_Principal I hadn't seen the Arkell v Pressdram link before; it certainly made me chuckle
and on that note, Like Richard Dangle suggests, I am going to try and resist posting anymore to minimize publicity.
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Old 28th Oct 2022, 18:37
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Originally Posted by India Four Two View Post
Tracey, Tracey,
Give me your answer, do!
Iím half crazy,
Waiting for word from you.
It wasnít a solo journey,
Please donít attempt to fool me,
But you look sweet,
In the back seat,
Of a Stearman made for two.

With apologies to Harry Dacre.
For some reason, India Four Two's four year old poetic post come readily to mind....

Jack
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Old 31st Oct 2022, 21:17
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It will be interesting to see how this ghost written book emerges.

Nothing would have ever been written in the press on her well funded journeys had it not been for that four letter word.

What did the sponsors think they were getting?

Why did Boeing publish that word in their press releases?

Why was the LAA Bill Woodham Navigation Award accepted when without doubt there were two well equipped pilots on board from Capetown.

And why was it so important ,when the award was retracted, to threaten the Chairman of the Light Aviation Association with legal action.

How do you you explain in a book the deception of the orchestrated arrival at Sydney airport from the nearby Bankstown GA airfield but still need to keep airline pilot Ewald Gritsch in the front seat but he has to hide from the waiting press corp.




Why were the log book entries for Tracey and Ewald identical when the FAA published the report after the accident in Arizona. The point where Artemis pulled the sponsorship plug and the Stearman was renamed Spirit of Victory.

And one final question….we have not heard of Tracey flying since to continue these so called epic adventures.




Last edited by Senior Pilot; 31st Oct 2022 at 21:21. Reason: Remove repetition
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Old 1st Nov 2022, 05:22
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And one final question….we have not heard of Tracey flying since to continue these so called epic adventures
They're no longer epic adventures in a real sense, light aircraft have been flying on these sort of trips for decades. Epic for the pilot involved, such as Sam's two youngsters, but that's all. Look at the trips done by Louise Sacchi mentioned above, ferrying single engine aircraft from the manufacturer to whoever the purchaser was anywhere in the world.

Two friends flew a Baron around the world non stop in 1971 to break the speed record, by non stop I mean they only landed to refuel and immediately take off again. The Lions Club at the various stopping points had been organised to get the weather, file a plan and feed the crew. Shortly after departure from Darwin they lost all their nav gear save for one ADF, having spent 18 months and a lot of dosh they decided to continue on, neither of the pilots were well to do, chap who owned the aircraft, Trevor Brougham, had dug septic tank installations on weekends to get the coin to learn to fly and his offsider, Bob Diickenson, worked in the same company as I as an electrician, had a PPL and got an IMC rating for the trip. Route - Darwin, Rabaul, Bucholz (Kwajalein Atoll), Honolulu, San Fran, Toronto, Gander, London, Athens, Bahrain, Bombay, Singapore, Darwin.

https://www.worldairsports.aero/reco...class&sort=asc
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Old 1st Nov 2022, 21:10
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Originally Posted by megan View Post
They're no longer epic adventures in a real sense, light aircraft have been flying on these sort of trips for decades. Epic for the pilot involved...

....Two friends flew a Baron around the world non stop in 1971 to break the speed record, by non stop I mean they only landed to refuel and immediately take off again
megan Quite, there needs to be some other aspect to such flights today for them to be unique and especially newsworthy. To my mind Zara and Mack's journeys are more notable than that of some aged sheila charging around with a mate in his Stearman, but who knows there might be more to it.

As it happens, and as I suggested earlier to Mike Flynn, it's my view that there's a good story to be told about the aftermath/defrocking of Ms Curtis-Taylor's flights. While that comment could have been construed as sarcastic at the time it wasn't (well, not entirely , and I suspect a decently written piece could have somewhat wider appeal than just the aviation community.

Otherwise I was interested in your Baron story and went looking to see if there was any more information. A brief search came across this site which related some sad news. I assume the person mentioned there is 'your' Trevor? I couldn't find anything on Bob, but perhaps you know more?

FP.
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