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-   -   Tracey Curtis-Taylor (Merged threads) (https://www.pprune.org/private-flying/579030-tracey-curtis-taylor-merged-threads.html)

Cessnafly 25th Oct 2016 19:31

and this


Chris Scott 25th Oct 2016 20:02

Thanks for your earlier heads-up re the website developments, Cessnafly.

So, in a statement dated 11 June 2016, a year after Sam Rutherford first disclosed to PPRuNe that most of her Cape Town-to-Goodwood sectors were not flown solo, and a few weeks after she and Mr Gritsch emerged from the wreckage in Arizona, Ms Curtis-Taylor wrote:
"I am deeply disappointed at the comments coming from a particular source making false assertions that my flight expeditions should have been executed as solo flights.
They were not."

The last sentence is open to interpretation, perhaps deliberately, but I infer that it means that neither were her flight expeditions solo, nor was there any requirement for them to be solo. On the latter point, she - as the instigator of these journeys - was free to decide whether she would attempt to fly them solo.

There seems to be ample evidence that after the Cape Town-to-Goodwood trip she claimed to have completed it solo. Before departing Farnborough for Australia in October 2015 she told the world by implication, if not specifically, that the trip would be flown solo to emulate Amy Johnson's. On her arrival in Darwin on 1st January, her website still included the following claim:
"...following in the slipstream of aviator Amy Johnson to recreate her pioneering solo flight from Great Britain to Australia."

No wonder that the world's media took her at her word and credited her with an all-solo journey. No wonder, in the light of some photographs of her in flight suggesting otherwise, that the curiosity of her fellow pilots, many of whom know only too well the difference between flying cross-country alone and flying with a co-pilot, led to many searching questions being asked and various sceptical comments being made.

But the lady appears to have been unaware or in denial of the controversy. Neither she nor her not-inconsiderable support team made any attempt to address it, or - most significantly - correct the misleading reports. She personally had many opportunities, including an interview with the BBC for Radio 4's flagship news and current-affairs programme, Today, on January 9. Following that interview the programme's website stated:
"British aviation adventurer, Tracey Curtis-Taylor has completed a 13,000 mile solo flight from Britain to Australia in a vintage open cockpit biplane. The 53 year-old set off from Hampshire in October. She has emulated the pioneering British aviator, Amy Johnson, who became the first woman to fly solo between the two countries in 1930."

As I commented on PPRuNe's AH&N forum on January 9th:
"The problem for the team now is that the advantages of encouraging - or at least allowing - the media to report this as a solo flight might be more than outweighed by the negative effects of any [future] admission to the contrary. And the solo description lingers on."

So it is proving, unfortunately.

Ant T 25th Oct 2016 20:29

Barry Tempest said.

In the post war years women like Sheila Scott and Judith Chisholm have
earned our admiration with their long distance flights. Finally, in more
recent times, Polly Vacher has achieved many awe inspiring trips around the
Polly Vacher's flights certainly got my admiration. She genuinely did circumnavigate solo eastwards around the world, and got a long way towards completing another circumnavigation via North and South Poles.

I was at Rothera on the Antarctic Peninsula when she passed through on the attempt to cross the continent via the Pole to McMurdo. No co-pilot or support team or fanfare. The flight was right on the limit of endurance for her Piper Dakota. She waited a number of days for a favourable forecast for that leg, and eventually set off towards the Pole, but sadly by the time she was reaching PNR it was clear that the hoped-for tailwinds had not quite been enough, and she made the brave decision to turn back. I seem to remember she landed back at Rothera after about 14 hours airborne.
She had planned her logistics well, with fuel depoted at McMurdo for the onward leg to New Zealand - I believe she generously donated that fuel to someone else who had not prepared so well and had ended up stranded at McMurdo in a light homebuilt(?)

While she did have sponsorship for her flights, she used them to raise awareness for Flying Scholarships for the Disabled, and I would say her MBE for services to charity was well-deserved.

Checklist Charlie 26th Oct 2016 00:49

Oh boy, the supporters of Missy have got themselves all of a lather over on her farcebook page.

Sad reading really.


9 lives 26th Oct 2016 02:11

Oh boy, the supporters of Missy have got themselves all of a lather over on her farcebook page.
Wow, 'sure are right about that! One misled fellow writes:

Adventurers and Pioneers do not need to defend any of their actions to anybody for whatsoever reason.
Okay then....

I suppose that's why there's an "over there" in every room, so I can stay over here with pilots I respect.

Stanwell 26th Oct 2016 03:07

Yes, it's funny isn't it?
The "Up-to-the-Minute" Farcebook crowd avidly 'following' Tracey's Fantastic Flying Fun Fair.

"Reality" .. what's that?

Thank goodness for PPRuNe.

Snyggapa 26th Oct 2016 07:53

her own website front page billed it as "following in the slipstream of aviator Amy Johnson to recreate her pioneering solo flight from Great Britain to Australia"


The detail page does go on to state:

"Tracey was supported by a second aircraft; a Cessna Caravan provided by Phoenix Aviation of Nairobi,which carried a logistics manager, an engineer and a four-man film crew."

but doesn't mention anyone else in her plane.

or how about her own website again:

"In preparation for her solo flight across Africa,"

Tracey Curtis Taylor - Aviatrix, Adventurer, Inspirational Speaker

was that one a real solo, or a "re-creation" without the pesky solo part?


"The Cape Town to Goodwood flight took two months to complete with 38 stops. Tracey was supported by a second aircraft; a Cessna Caravan provided by Phoenix Aviation of Nairobi, which carried a logistics manager, an engineer and a four-man film crew.

In preparation for her solo flight across Africa, Tracey was invited to join a 3 man Russian crew ferry flying an old piston engined Antonov 2 biplane from Kiev to Cape Town"


Personally I have no idea how the media got the impression that these would be solo flights..

Mike Flynn 26th Oct 2016 08:19

Despite wooly statements on the Bird In A Biplane media page TCT has never explained why she could no longer fly solo after the first few legs.

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.

That change of plan was never sent to any newspapers which continued to publish solo flight stories.

Now what "elements" could prevent such a highly trained 'aviatrix' flying alone?

"so again my own background in sort of display flying"......"I was actually trained by military pilots in my formation, aerobatic and low level stuff - has all been done with military pilots"
The documentary filming was part of the project the moment the Spirit the Spirit of Artemis left Cape Town.

Flight planning and logistics are the same with one or two in the aircraft.

The aircraft was covered in GoPro cameras.

Why would you want to contaminate the aircraft on a solo voyage with a second person who also happen to be a commercial pilot?

How did the outreach programme and charities stop TCT flying solo to "emulate" Mary Heath who did exactly that?

Cows getting bigger 26th Oct 2016 08:46

Of course, it would be interesting to understand why the solo part of plan was changed. :)

BEagle 26th Oct 2016 08:48

Yet again there have been more clumsy edits to the woman's Wikipedia entry...

More bleating about there having been no intention to deceive anyone about the conduct of her flights.

But equally, were there any attempts to correct the impressions she and her PR machine had clearly made?

Mike Flynn 26th Oct 2016 09:04

The other main question is why she needed someone ( who happened to be a commercial pilot and flight instructor) up front on the short hop from Richmond air force base to Sydney Kingsford Smith airport?

She knew the press were waiting so why not fly solo?

It could not be for lack of training or navigational reasons?

."I was actually trained by military pilots "
Of course it led to this much published picture with Ewald trying to hide.


She then happily accepted the solo flight certificate from the Australian Womens Pilots Association.

TCT has said in a statement she intends to sue me and Sam Rutherford.

For what?

Telling the truth:ok:

I am sorry but this all resembles the Bill Clinton defence.

Haraka 26th Oct 2016 09:21

TCT has said in a statement she intends to sue me and Sam Rutherford.
Being cross examined under oath in court is a salutary experience I (among some other PpRuners ) can assure you. Her "Engineer" , for one, could have an "interesting " time I would wager, if it ever came to it.

Mike Flynn 26th Oct 2016 09:55

I spent most of my life before retirment in radio and tv studios on the sharp end asking the questions.

Court rooms are relaxing compared to live broadcasting.

Politicians and officials normally enter a studio with a preconceived idea of how the interview should go.

They tend to never answer a direct question with a direct answer.

TCT got pretty much a free rein on the soft run up to the 8.00am news on the Today programme and Nick Robinson took her story at face value.

She has obviously been on a media training course.

I think she would fall apart quickly when asked to answer the question instead of making a statement.

We will see.

I would like to ask Boeing about their misleading press releases:ok:

WeeJeem 26th Oct 2016 10:10

Here's a Wee Gem that I think merits some air time... :D

It's by

Richard Evans

Cycled around the world, feet first and laid back on a recumbent bike, April-Oct 2014.
Book here: http://tinyurl.com/hgrr48g proceeds to @RoadPeace

"All royalties from this book will go to RoadPeace, a small charity..."

I wasn't sure which the charity would benefit from more, the Kindle edition or the paperback.
So I bought both.
I like people like this, who do things like this. 10 well spent, I think. :ok:

Go on, once you've read the quote below, you know what you have to do. :p

Ddraig Goch 26th Oct 2016 10:44

1 Attachment(s)
Hi, I don't know if this Facebook entry has been shown before but I just scrolled down her Facebook site and found this. It looks like the pages have been altered to throw a different light one her achievements since the solo, not solo but alone whitewash but someone missed this revealing photo - can I see 2 people in this picture:rolleyes:

Snyggapa 26th Oct 2016 11:09

Her own twitter feed seems to be happy enough to promote the solo aspect:

"Karachi embraces Tracey amiably on her solo journey to 23 countries"


plus numerous retweets of major news stories headlined "solo"

I plan to fly solo to Houston, but operational reasons mean I will be flying instead with BA club world, however I shall continue to refer to my planned solo flight to Houston.


WeeJeem 26th Oct 2016 11:47

I have a vague recollection that may have been posted some time back - but isn't it funny how the UN could get it wrong not once, but (at least) twice!!!

... Tracey once again landed in the news for another historic and treacherous solo flight ...


Mike Flynn 26th Oct 2016 11:58

All filed for my defence in the impending 'legal proceedings':ok:

All of this PR info came from Spirit of Artemis PR man Tim Kelly.

Danny42C 26th Oct 2016 12:12

..."O sole Mio....."
DG (your #2155),

Yes, you can ! And the comment by Beverley Harrison is very revealing of the current muddled thinking ! "...so when is it ever truly solo ?".... Forsooth !
Many moons ago, BBC "Look North" was short of items, so found some air-to-air footage of a 16 yr old girl doing her first solo on a glider at a local club. Downwind, the presenter thought the programme needed pepping-up. "No earthly power can help her now", she gushed.

And that, dear Beverley, is the exact point. You are "alone and unaided" - and only you can save your skin. That's what "solo" means.

In the particular case, the teenager flew an excellent circuit and did a fair landing. Nothing to see here, folks- move along.


wiggy 26th Oct 2016 12:13


I almost wished you hadn't posted that...I've just read it post lunch and feel quite ill......

"freak weather, technology failure and risks in war torn countries..."

At the current rate I wonder how long it will be before she starts hinting she was on the Iranian Embassy balcony?

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