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

Stanwell 22nd Jul 2016 22:42

Thanks for that link, Nige321.
A bit of a giggle, my lady-friend thought.
She reckons, anytime soon, women will have the confidence to drive all the way across town - solo.

JS, to be fair to our poor Tracey, there are times when I prefer to just catch a taxi to an engagement, rather than fire up the 3-litre Bentley for
such a routine trip.
On such occasions, I usually find that just my speaker's notes (large-type, double spaced) and a folder of pre-autographed photos keep the
adoring masses happy.

Mike Flynn 22nd Jul 2016 22:50

Journey time by road Farnborough to Hull is 3 hours 58 minutes while in the Stearman I would estimate around just over an hour to 1.20.

34 by bus but I guess that is too far down the table for TCT.

Some may think I have been a bit naughty to highlight Tracey and her non adventures.

The interest and posts on this thread proves the web now rules magazines.

On the bright side Archant have just given me a free one year subscription to Pilot :ok:

Not worth much though as I can have direct interaction here.

Mike Flynn 23rd Jul 2016 01:09

"Not enought time to scramble" says Tracey Curtis Steve Taylor
Late post here but it looks like a reply to my questions to TCT,

I had hoped to bring the ‪#‎SpiritofArtemis‬ up to Yorkshire for the Amy Johnson Festival 2016 but not enough time to scramble after a late finish in Portsmouth the day before. Yesterday I arrived at Amy's old school for the unveiling of a plaque by the Lord Mayor of Hull and Judy Chilvers, Amy's wonderful niece, who looks so much like her.
I then gave a talk last night at The University of Hull - lots of ladies in attendance which was great to see - and hope that I conveyed ...
See moreL
source https://www.facebook.com/birdinabiplane

Scramble? Are we back in 1942. With superb weather and the award in Portsmouth what was wrong with flying?

Was Ewald busy?

A very easy VFR trip.

Must have been a killer five hour road trip but I guess you coped with the navigation and low level passing Watford Gap?

One of the people attending the talk presented me with a beautiful framed photograph of Jean Batten. Jean was a contemporary of Amy's and was the first person to fly solo from the UK to New Zealand. She was a Kiwi and I knew her family in New Zealand; they were all pilots and her great nephew was a student of mine when I was an instructor.
We await confirmation from the crowd at Ardmore in Auckland New Zealand Tracey:ok:

I am sure as I post there will be accolades winging their way across the grest divide.

They look forward to you flying alone from Sydney via Norfolk Island to Auckland.

Update for latecomers to this story http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/arti...-legs-own.html

India Four Two 23rd Jul 2016 02:51

Now, about this "round-the-world trip".

Using gcmap.com, the GC route from Farnborough to Sydney via Pakistan and Malaysia is about 9,300 nm. Allowing for TCT's slightly more circuitous route, and throwing in the 1,300 nm from Seattle to Santa Monica to Winslow, let's say she flew 12,000 nm.

That is 55% of the earth's circumference. A valiant effort as a "sole pilot" in a Stearman, but hardly "round-the world". Even if she and her engineer had made it from Winslow to New York, that would only be another 8%.

maxred 23rd Jul 2016 11:14

Thanks ATC. I watched, stop to stop. Actually pretty impressive stuff. Comes over very well. I can appreciate the allure........the presentation certainly gives the impression of a solo venture. Other than the 'homage to Amy bit', you would be hard pressed to believe that anyone else was involved in the flying. Secondly, is it her aircraft? She states several times that it was her rebuild, her Stearman, and her dream of the 'stock', Stearman.

piperboy84 23rd Jul 2016 11:36

It's hard to believe she thought she would not be rumbled being a very public person and giving so many talks to aviation focused audiences. Even without folks like Jay ferreting out and publicizing the true story you would think one of routine run of the mill questions about her flights from a pilot audience member would expose holes in the story pretty much right of the bat. She's obviously no dummy and presents herself well, did she really think skirting round or omitting unhelpful facts was a long term option in this world of instant Internet and fact checking capabilities ?

India Four Two 23rd Jul 2016 11:41


No, it's not her aircraft. It's registered to a Delaware corporation, 3G Classic Aviation Inc., that has the same name as Ewald's Austrian company.

When she showed up at Farnborough with the 'rebuilt' Stearman, I was sufficiently suspicious that I checked to see if the N number had been transferred to another airframe, but apparently that's not the case.

However as others have pointed out, it is quite easy to jack-up a maker's plate and slide a new airframe underneath.

Stanwell 23rd Jul 2016 11:52

According to one US press report I saw (it's on here somewhere), she made it quite clear that it's HER Stearman and Ewald, just her handy mechanic,
simply gave her a hand to restore it.
He, because he's a nice bloke, was also permitted to, quote, "tag along" on her adventure - which was rudely interrupted at Winslow.

As for the 'stock' Stearman claim, I'm afraid it's anything but stock.
It's just one step short of Ewald's 'Super Stearman' spec.
Either the press consistently get things terribly wrong - or, that woman lies like the proverbial 'pig in mud'.
Which do you think?

maxred 23rd Jul 2016 12:03

Thanks, that's what I thought. Well, in the video presentation, she states several times, it is HER Stearman, and interestingly, to the layman, is all done with a very large Boeing presence, as if Boeing had donated it. I particularly liked the bit, I am an instructor, and later, not IFR qualified, and, I cannot be bothered with procedures, etc, etc. That said, a polished performance, and to non aviation listeners, easily misled.

Danny42C 23rd Jul 2016 20:03

Above The Clouds,

Heard her spiel in OZ; apart from the "terminolgical inexactitudes" noted by maxred, a polished and persuasive performance. The gal certainly has "the gift of the gab" all right (or her scriptwriter has).

Did I really hear her say that her (?) Stearman could carry 6,000 litres of fuel? (Hearing not so good). That would be 1564 US gallons or 1014 lb to carry. Rather a lot for the old girl (the Stearman, that is). Must have misheard!

... I do like the sound of that engine though...
Tastes vary - prefer the dear old 220hp Continental I knew so well. Except when a plug blew out, you could hear the row in the next State - and it was rumoured that the vibration could cause the prop to sympathetically fracture.:eek: Anybody like to comment on this ?


Dr Jekyll 24th Jul 2016 10:25

That would be 1564 US gallons or 1014 lb to carry.
Not 10,140?

Stanwell 24th Jul 2016 10:39

Well, you could ask Tracey.
But, then again, she doesn't ever bother herself with troublesome detail.
You should know by now that our 'Supergirl in a gro-bag' leaves that kind of stuff to mere mortals .. OK?

I mean, isn't it enough that, in level VFR flight, she knows which way is up, kinda awesome?
(Beyond that, it seems she's a bit challenged, though).
Further, she has people on the edge of their seats by telling them that, once, she had to fly as low as (gasp!) 500ft.

Stanwell 24th Jul 2016 11:24

Thanks for your opinion, above, ATC.
It did strike me that Danny42C was on to something there.
The fact that the NTSB were happy to base their report's conclusion solely upon TCT's vague explanation, I thought a bit odd.
But, then again, she does tell a good story, doesn't she?

DaveW 24th Jul 2016 11:50

It's not at all odd, and the NTSB are not part of any conspiracy.

Accident investigation organisations around the World will accept a pilot's report rather than conduct their own investigation if there is nobody hurt or killed, or no technical failure that may affect other operators etc. The UK AAIB do it to, and it's not really a surprise given limited resources.

Stanwell 24th Jul 2016 12:08

Please be clear that I was in no way making any suggestion of conspiracy.
Are you aware that TCT had initially claimed that the Winslow FBO had provided her with crook fuel?

Mike Flynn 24th Jul 2016 13:41

It will be interesting so see how much flying the Stearman does now it is back in the UK.

While we await the next TCT flying adventure, 18 year old Lachlan Smart is about to depart St John's Newfoundland to Wick. The direct Atlantic crossing is the latest leg of a solo circumnavigation in his Cirrus S22.

A true adventurer.

I managed to find a picture of him with an aircraft he could easily fly solo without a support crew or someone to carry his bags.:ok:

Danny42C 24th Jul 2016 13:45

Above The Clouds (your #1038 to Stanwell),

I'd like, if I may, to clarify some points in your Post.

...Danny42C had, earlier in this thread, suggested that, in light of his experience with PT-17s, the prop could have inadvertently, prematurely been knocked into coarse pitch...
I think you may be referring to my (#926), in which I said:

...No engineer, I, just operated a Wasp Junior with similar prop for 70 hrs, so stand to be shot down by a real expert...
I should have elaborated. The PT-17 I flew at Primary School with the Army Air Corps was in standard fit with a 220hp Continental and a fixed metal prop. Then I moved up to Gunter Field in good ol' Alabam': they gave me a BT-13 Vultee "Valiant" (it was said that you needed to be valiant to fly it at all). This was reluctantly dragged through the air by a 450hp P&W Wasp Junior with a Hamilton Standard two-speed and it is of this I speak. I originally thought that this was the assembly fitted to the "Spirit of Artemis" (it was, it seems, the kit often put on postwar crop-sprayers, wing-walkers and the like). But I was wrong: "our" Stearman has a 9-cyl radial Lycoming of very similar appearance. AFAIK what "Artemis" has is the R-680-E3A; Wiki quote:

...Specifications (R-680-E3A)[edit]Data from Jane's.[1]....Performance Power output: 330 hp (246 kW) at 2,300 rpm at sea level...
Nevertheless, I would think the (2-speed) prop would be much the same in both cases.

The 220hp PT-17 reckoned to take off in a 700 ft run (ground level). Even hot and high, I would have thought "Artemis" with 50% more power and in fine pitch would have got off comfortably in 7100 ft at Winston (in "coarse" it wouldn't have got off at all), as there would be no need to load any extra fuel for the short trip ahead.

Now to the "nitty-gritty": I cannot speak for the cockpit fit of the pitch lever in a Stearman, as I have never seen one. In a BT-13 it was on the left on the thottle quadrant (as are all the RPM levers on all the S/Es I've flown). IMHO, it would be impossible to "accidentally" knock the lever from full forward ("fine") to full back ("coarse"): the mixture lever came between throttle and "Pitch" anyway.

As for the incident: it would seem that the "Accident Investigation" was nothing of the sort, the wreckage was not examined; now it is all long gone, we have nothing to go on but the one indistinct photograph of the crashed propellor which drew my attention.

Cold oil in the prop cylinder ? RPM levers being pulled back to "min" for shut down ? Can't remember that at all. All I can say is that the Harvard constant-speed prop invariably went back to "min RPM" ("coarse") of its own accord on switch-off, and as soon as you cranked-up would revert to full fine, you could watch the cylinder (and bobs) move out as the blades returned to (max RPM) angle. No reason a two-speed would behave any differently (anyway it's just the same thing but without a CS Governer unit).

A BT-13 would always be kept in "fine" for climb until reaching cruise level, and then put back to "fine" for descent, approach and landing. So, if a cruising BT-13 cruised into a hillside, you would expect the prop (if it survived) to be still in the same mode "coarse" (and vice versa) in which it had just been flying.

Any chance of persuading Ewald to come on board and give us his take on this ? No ? Then we'll all have to forget it !

Rather long - but the devil really is in the detail !


clareprop 24th Jul 2016 18:05

The Daily Mail 'expose', accurate as it was, hasn't been picked up by other media.
Seems to me that if the desire is for the truth to be outed, the story now has to be along the lines of 'How the media (and perhaps, other august organisations) were ruthlessly duped to further one woman's personal aspirations'. It's the sort of thing Panorama do well at one end and Watchdog at the other. Maybe there is an investigative program/journalist somewhere in the middle? If not, the story will just remain on PPrune which is really just turning into a bit of a Greek Chorus.

Danny42C 24th Jul 2016 20:02

Oops !
Dr Jekyll (your #1039),

"A fair cop, guv !" A case of trouble with what Churchill called "these damned dots!" Thing would've buckled at the knees !"


Above The Clouds (your #1046),

This installation is in a Stearman (?), and totally different from what I recall of the BT-13 fit in 1941. And that's not much (it has been a long time). But, as regards procedure, I don't think that we bothered with the prop much on start-ups in the southern states ! (didn't snow much).

On the other hand, we "exercised the prop" on run-up on our Wright Double Cyclones in the Vengeance in India/Burma (where it doesn't get cold much at ground level), and I remember we had to wait till the "Triple Gauge" (wonderful shot in the Part 2 video) got to 15 C

Distinctly recall day when I took a casual glance at that clock on a sortie - oil pressure (bottom left) - zero :eek: Result some time later: one VV mostly in bits (but bombs and fuel good as new !) and Danny and gunner "bloody but unbowed". Long story.


Mike Flynn 24th Jul 2016 20:43

I posted that picture of Lachlan Smart in front of the Spirit of Artemis because the birds will come home to roost soon if you pardon the pun.

Tracey Curtis Taylor claims to be involved in 'outreach' and 'inspiring women' to become pilots, but as I have said many times before she achieved her so called award winning adventures with an airline pilot and engineer in the front seat.

Lachlan is a true inspiration to modern young people.

Titled Wings Around the World, Lachlan hopes to spread a message of hope and inspire other young people to make their ambitions a reality.

“So often I see my friends and my peers at school or the Air Force Cadets have dreams but they don’t have the motivation. So I want to lead the way and show that it doesn’t take somebody extraordinary to achieve an extraordinary task.”

Lachlan says self belief and motivation can go a long way.

“I think there are a lot of people with phenomenal ideas, brilliant minds and things they could go on and achieve but they don’t because they’re bound by a system that’s already set in place. So I want to break the mould a little bit and show if you have an idea, there is nothing holding you back from achieving it.”

The major problem for those who have dished out the awards to TCT is Lachlan looks like he will really eclipse her so called 'Global Flight'.

Here he is in St Johns Newfoundland with the next stop the Azores.

The Honourable Company of Air Pilots will find it difficult to avoid recognising his achievments.

Indeed by the time he reaches the UK in the early part of this week he must qualify for a Masters Medal?

I may be wrong but I do not think any 18 year old pilot has ever flown from Australia to the UK via the Pacific and Atlantic in such record time?

The difficult issue they face is he is claiming to be doing his flight for the same reasons as TCT.

To promote, inspire and encourage young people to fly.

However he eclipses her.

As for the press stories....the show is not over until the fat lady sings.

Watch this space as they say.

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