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

SATCOS WHIPPING BOY 25th Sep 2018 08:45

Rebuilds are expensive. If I were on a round the world trip in, say, a Ford Escort and I pranged it I would have a couple of options.
1. Waste time, energy and money getting it built back up to as it was. Running the risk of missing out on good driving conditions and having to worry about getting it through an MOT.
2. Source another complete Ford Escort and spray that up. I guess I'd be back on the road in a few days. Only the car reg would be different but that would be what was expected.

Of course option two is the better option as I can still fix my old car in slow time when I get back and get my journey back on track ASAP.

I wonder why, given the number of aircraft at their disposal this latter option was not taken. Given the need to keep an eye on the purse strings it would have been the most logical step to take if time was a pressure due to favorable weather on route etc.

just curious.

Cazalet33 25th Sep 2018 09:14

In the late 1970s we had six Bell 47s, all physically airworthy at the start of the cropspray season, but only five were registered and insured.

There were huge penalties for downtime as some high value crops had to be sprayed in a very short timeframe or they'd be ruined. When a particular aircraft needed to go back to base for a Check, the engineers simply swapped the brass plate and the skeg which bore the G-Reg from one to another and wrote up the difference of engine serial number etc in the Tech Log and Hey Presto! Instant new aircraft for the benefit of the customer. All perfectly legal. It saved a load of money on insurance and admin expenses on the 'phantom' aircraft. Our CAA Inspector was a little uncomfortable about the arrangement, but he had to admit that it was legal and safe and above board.

Looking at the state of the wreckage at Winslow, and how rapidly a pristine new replacement appeared with the same registration number, I suspect that Ewald did something similar. All legit and actually good service for the customer.

SATCOS WHIPPING BOY 25th Sep 2018 09:20

Fascinating. So with my Ford escort analogy, simply respraying the "good" car and putting the old registration plate on it would be akin to what you say there ref the crop-sprayers? Sounds odd but you live and learn.

treadigraph 25th Sep 2018 09:41

Caz, I'm not convinced that was legal knowing the CAA's reluctance to transfer registrations from one airframe to another (it has happened once or twice, one was an HS-125 replaced with a newer aircraft!), and how would you account for differences in airframe hours?

Cazalet33 25th Sep 2018 10:37


We had a lengthy discussion with the CAA as to exactly which component of a Bell 47 constitutes the airframe as every single element is replaceable, unlike with a monocoque airframe.

Was it the bubble? (replaceable). Was it the tubular steel elements (all replaceable, singly or severally)? Was it the engine? Replaceable. Was it the floorboard? (replaceable). In the end we agreed that the only element that was really "the" helicopter was the brass plate. The skeg, painted with the G-reg was also replaceable, and was duly swapped over as the visible identifier.

A Stearman is also a tube frame structure, whose elements are all replaceable. Hence, I suspect that Ewald did something similarly legal and quite clever.

Sam Rutherford 25th Sep 2018 10:49

It's all and only about the plate. So 'rebuilding' is not required - you just shift the plate across to a brand new fuselage and it's magically a vintage aeroplane.

B70 25th Sep 2018 10:52

"I am hearing rumours Jonzarno that the the LAA has received legal threats."

Tracey must surely realise that, in the case of any legal proceedings, former crew-members would be called as witnesses. So far, those crew-members have not spilled the beans for reasons of client confidentiality but, in a court of law, they would be cross-examined and the resulting revelations would be embarrassing indeed.
Presumably, the conspirators behind the ‘solo’ Farnborough take-off deception with Ewald climbing aboard sometime later, would also be invited to tell their stories.

treadigraph 25th Sep 2018 10:54

Understood, just surprised that they would agree. Tiger Moth G-ACDC has been rebuilt a number of times after accidents, probably the left hub-cap and data plate are the only original components :p.

Looking at the post accident pics, the fuselage of the Stearman may have survived undamaged except possibly the rearmost elements; certainly every other component needed replacing and doubtless Ewald had a good stock of wings and other parts to draw on. As I mentioned earlier in the thread, it was astonishing how quickly Lang Kidby's Avro Avian was rebuilt by various British specialists after it's prang here a few years ago, and with no spares resource to access.

Nige321 25th Sep 2018 11:06

From a little surfing on Facebook:

TERRY HOLLOWAY - She is a very good pilot who has flown her open cockpit Stearman over much of the globe. She had a “ passenger“ in the front seat for most of the time, and the main passenger was her engineer who is also a pilot. She did the flying ( as did Amelia Earhart who took a navigator on her fateful global attempt, and as did I went across the Atlantic [and across the USA] in an Aztec !). By any measure, whether solo or not, her long flights in that machine were very meritworthy but unfortunately the media screamed “solo” and she and her team did insufficient to correct the headlines. I have flown with her quite a bit, most recently to the LAA Rally a fortnight ago and I have a high regard for her as a pilot and a person. She has done a great deal to encourage young people, particularly females into aviation at a time when GA is in decline and there are acute shortages of Pilots. I therefore find it both sad and disappointing that a bunch of people, who do not know her, are so critical of the her, and that mindless trolls on PPrune continue to be so spiteful and vile about her! She is certainly very gutsy and I put her in the league of heroines even though she was not alone for much of her long distance flights.

Those who have, and continue to criticise and be spiteful about her on the ghastly PPrune social site, and elsewhere, and who have no knowledge of her should be ashamed of the damage they are doing to GA, the LAA and their own reputations.

ANDY SEPHTON - A very good friend of mine, Tracey Curtis-Taylor, has been vilified on an aviation Forum (PPRUNE) and wronged by the LAA. Hopefully the latter will be put right at their coming AGM.
Having flown with Tracey I have to say that I find her to be a highly competent aviatrix with a professional attitude to whatever she does. I find it disappointing to read the disparaging comments from people who have no direct experience of what she has achieved. If you are able to, I request all of my friends and colleagues to give Tracey their support.

I had a lot of respect for Andy Sephton and his work. No more...

Katamarino 25th Sep 2018 12:18

For a bit of balance, let's just say that some of what Ewald says is very much in line with what I and others have experienced. The truth is never found 100% on one side of a story...

Sam Rutherford 25th Sep 2018 12:48

I can't believe I've been dragged back into this again, but if people insist (either publicly or privately) then I am obliged to respond.

Something else that would be helpful, copies of the press releases that were sent to the media in 2013-2016?

And the sponsor request letters from the same period?

These would also prove that it was the media who independently added the word 'solo' to everything.

That is what we're discussing here, isn't it?

airpolice 25th Sep 2018 13:33

Sam, I have a suspicion that you have already had sight of those very documents.

She's already stated the initial idea was for a solo trip and that was abandoned early on.

I think there might need to be more than three questions asked, in order to satisfy everyone on the subject of credibility as a very good pilot. How can she explain the hours discrepancies on FAA documents and her Facebook still claiming that she holds the honorary rank of Commander?

The discreet Goodwood shuffle is going to take some explaining.

Still, the "Alone in an open cockpit" slide and the Herne Bay video, will surely hold centre stage for some time.

The best place to have all this thrashed out in a civilised, properly documented, fair and transparent way, would be in a court of law. How odd that only one side truly wants that, and yet it is the other side who claim to have started the ball rolling, but there's no evidence of it actually happening.

Right Hand Thread 25th Sep 2018 13:39

Terry Holloway. .......unfortunately the media screamed “solo”...

As did she Terry, as did she.

Need I refer you again to the many photographs showing her in front of the ‘alone in a cockpit’ presentation or holding up certificates emblazoned with the ‘S’ word?

Or how about the Herne Bay video where she says TWICE that she flew solo?

Why oh why do her supporters defend her in the face of such blatant evidence? Do they think we are too stupid to see it? It’s like dealing with Trump. Trump Curtis-Taylor*.

* Any journos reading this can have that one on me.

SATCOS WHIPPING BOY 25th Sep 2018 13:47

Those are the questions I have been asking for over and above Jonzarno's ones.

In addition I would like answers to the following

- When exactly did the sponsorship requests begin?
- What did the investors THINK they were getting?
- When was it decided that these would not be a solo flights?
- Why was the solo aspect dropped?
- Were the sponsors informed of this material change?
- If so, when?
- Why was it felt necessary that the front seat would be occupied for the vast majority of the journey by Ewald?
- What steps did TCT take to correct the many SOLO headlines?
- Where is the evidence to show this even happened?
- Why, many months after the return to the UK, was TCT perpetuating the SOLO claim?

I have just been reading posts over on the LAA forum. Some are saying that the motion should be thrown out but it is too late for that. Doing so would now be undemocratic; the motion has been tabled and it is down to the membership to decide.

What I find odd is why the VP has put this motion forward. Any member can submit a motion and TCT is an LAA member. Is it because she would have been dismissed straight away? Is it because there has been external pressure put on the LAA to revisit (legal threats perhaps).
Eitherway it is for members to decide both those who will vote by proxy and those who turn up on the day. The crucial point is that proxy votes are just as valid as those cast in person. To this end I trust that the LAA will present as much information as possible to ALL members and prevent any last-minute ambushing at Sywell.

The members also need to be aware of the possible outcomes.
Motion rejected: TCT remains without the award. I suggest to prevent further challenges that the decision includes a full and final decision caveat. Unless TCT can come up with solid evidence to support her in the future then the decision stands.
Motion carried: TCT is vindicated and this paves the way for legal damages to be claimed from the LAA.

As I see it there is NOTHING to support the second option. If there were it would have been public by now. I think the press-releases from BiaB pushed the solo aspect, certainly the sponsorship requests will have done because I cannot see any sponsor jumping in to throw millions at a dual jolly to satisfy one persons dream; sponsorship doesn't work like that. When solo flights have occurred it has been with a little subterfuge later on. Wasn't it Goodwood to Le Touquet solo but Ewald was quickly back in the front seat as ballast? He was there at the departure and followed in another aircraft or perhaps more accurately they met up airborne and she followed the other plane into France.

It is down to the LAA membership to decide for themselves. There is tons of evidence to support what is said on here and other forums, but little to zero to counter any of it from BiaB. I am going to wait and see the exact motion wording and then leave it to them to decide which path is morally correct.

Sam Rutherford 25th Sep 2018 13:52


They do say that you should never ask a question to which you don't already know the answer...

Cazalet33 25th Sep 2018 14:46

Here's a role model for Tracey to emulate
With acknowledgement to the BBC, and under the Fair Use provisions of copyright law, I'd like to share a small but representative portion of an article which describes someone who really is doing what Tracey pretends to do.

Pabi Leqhotsa had never flown a plane before this year but now dreams of a career in aviation

Fourteen-year-old Paballo (Pabi) Leqhotsa jumps out of the pilot seat of a four-seater Cessna monoplane giddy with delight.

"It was amazing. I felt like I was in control, do you understand?" she says, spinning round in excitement. Taking control of an aircraft was something the teenager from Soweto, a township just outside Johannesburg, had dreamed of since she was little.

She stands on the runway at Grand Central Airport and whoops with pure joy; the words of delight streaming out of her.
"Driving Zulu Sierra Papa Whiskey Whiskey (her aircraft's call-sign) was so amazing. It was so amazing!"

The woman behind this euphoria is Refilwe Ledwaba, South Africa's first black woman to have flown for the South African Police Service.
Refilwe Ledwaba has set up a camp and programmes for young people interested in aviation and science as a career choice

Besides being the country's first black female helicopter pilot, Refilwe is also the founder of the Girl Fly Programme in Africa Foundation (GFPA) a non-profit organisation empowering young women to take up science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) subjects.

Every year she organises a flying camp for girls where they learn about robotics, coding and aviation. And then each of them gets a free flying lesson at some point during the year.

"I want the girls to be successful," she says, dressed in her pilot's uniform, watching the teenagers take it in turns to fly. "Not necessarily to choose to become pilots but to become confident young women who can contribute to society, our economy and give back to our communities."

Now, I've got a question for Sam or Ewald or anyone else who knows what they're talking about: During her 44 sectors on the Africa gig, we know that Ewald was in the front seat for 40 of them. During the other four sectors, how many African girls did Tracey, the 300 hour Flying Instructor, give a free trial lesson to? Any?

44 sectors is 45 airfields. At how many of those airfields did she give local area trial flight flying lessons to any African girls (or boys, for that matter)?

Is her "STEM" stuff just PR fluff, like the solo fluff? Or did she really do something in Africa which is anything like as noble as the work being done by Refilwe Ledwaba? Just asking.

I've also got a question for the HCAP Liverymen: why don't you fetch Refilwe Ledwaba over to the Guild Hall, or whatever nosh house you have your well-dressed soirees in, and give a Prize to a woman who really does deserve one? Just asking.

Sam Rutherford 25th Sep 2018 14:54

The answers to the first two questions are 'none'.

Cazalet33 25th Sep 2018 15:03

Imagine my surprise!

I'm guessing that the answers to my third and fourth questions might be similar? ie yes and no, in that order?

I dare not hold my breath until I get an equally honest answer from HCAP to my question of them.

SATCOS WHIPPING BOY 25th Sep 2018 15:31

Originally Posted by Sam Rutherford (Post 10258062)
The answers to the first two questions are 'none'.

And the answer to the STEM one is also likely to be NONE as she is on record as saying she hates technology.

@Cazalet33. great post and what this should have been about. No doubt someone from BiaB will be along shortly to claim they helped inspire Refilwe. I asked the question many years ago as to how many PPLs could have been given if all of the Round the World jollies funding had been used wisely rather than squandered.

Forfoxake 25th Sep 2018 15:32

Satcos Whipping Boy wrote:

"Eitherway it is for members to decide both those who will vote by proxy and those who turn up on the day. The crucial point is that proxy votes are just as valid as those cast in person. To this end I trust that the LAA will present as much information as possible to ALL members and prevent any last-minute ambushing at Sywell."


"It is down to the LAA membership to decide for themselves. There is tons of evidence to support what is said on here and other forums, but little to zero to counter any of it from BiaB. I am going to wait and see the exact motion wording and then leave it to them to decide which path is morally correct."

It is, as you say, up to the LAA membership to decide. But can I suggest that we do not assume that most LAA members will be fully informed on this matter or bother to vote in any event.

They need to be informed and encouraged to vote. I have no doubt that TCT and her supporters will be lobbying LAA members to vote for reinstatement!

In short, we need a vigorous campaign to prevent the award being reinstated but a public forum is not the place to discuss strategy and tactics. Any suggestions how we can do this privately?

Make no mistake, a lot is at stake here especially for those of us who have a LAA permit aircraft and must remain members whatever happens. Maybe not as much as Brexit, but TreCksiT is important!

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