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

Cows getting bigger 14th Sep 2016 21:26

Actually, she was solo for the first crash...
or was she?

The pilot of N56200 immediately realised that there had been a collision, and shut down the aircraft, she and her passenger vacating it without difficulty.

SATCOS WHIPPING BOY 14th Sep 2016 22:31

Originally Posted by Cows getting bigger (Post 9508080)
or was she?

She was not alone as Cgb correctly says.
NTSB factual report is here for the second prang. (apologies if this has been shared before, I don't recall seeing it)


and here for the first

Just doing some searching and I found this article from 2014. Reading it, and knowing what is known now it just makes me want to vomit.

27/09 14th Sep 2016 22:55

I see 107 years ago today was the birthday of a true pioneering aviatrix, Jean Batten.

She set the fastest time from England to Australia in 1934. Flying a Gypsy Moth taking 14 days and 22 hours beating Amy Johnson's time by 5 days. The aircraft was shipped to New Zealand as it was not capable of the long legs across the Tasman Sea. After sending some weeks flying around New Zealand she then flew it back to the UK. The first woman to make the return flight.

She also broke Jim Mollison's record of 85 hours and 20minutes flying from England to Brazil doing it in 61 hours 15 minutes.

Then in 1936 she made the first flight between England and New Zealand, setting a new solo record of 6 days between England and Australia. 14,000 miles with the last 1300 across the Tasman Sea being potentially the most treacherous. George Hood and John Moncrieff had gone missing 8 years earlier, it's thought they over flew the Auckland area and never saw New Zealand and ran out of fuel.

Oh by the way, they were all solo flights too.

canopener 14th Sep 2016 23:05

It would be true to say that in both prangs a passenger was present in her "beautiful vintage biplane".
Have a read of avauntmagazine.com,their promo for an imminent talk by the infamous TCT requires the dispensing of sick bags.
British aviator Tracey Curtis-Taylor will be speaking at the inaugural Beyond Travel Festival by Steppes Travel at The Royal Geographical Society, London, 17-18 September 2016. Her talk takes place in the Education Centre on Sunday 18 September at 4pm.

Mike Flynn 15th Sep 2016 05:34

Yes I have seen that Canopener.

It would be interesting if Barry Tempest was there to ask a few questions:ok:

There is some discussion on the Light Aviation Association forum on whether it mattered that she was not solo. The argument being the Bill Woodham trophy was given for navigation and not solo flying.

However Sam Rutherford posted this on Pprune earlier.

Whilst I had done all the flight planning for the entire route before departure, Ewald and the pilot of the C208 did most of the day to day enroute planning with my input at times. Tracey was generally given the final result (or not, as Ewald knew it of course) - but was very rarely involved any planning. In her defence, she was usually very busy with the film crew and it would not have made sense (for the film) for her to be checking notams etc. I filed all the flight plans and GenDecs (Stearman POB:2) and paid all the charges etc. for both aircraft.
So there we have it. Ewald and the C208 pilot did all the flight planning.
Surely the ground preparation of the route is a major part of navigation.

Most UK drivers now use sat navs but they don't get awards.

As for the weather, route and radio across Africa I would suggest it is a lot easier that trying to fly from Headcorn to Blackpool VFR.

Everything was planned by the support team, the aircraft had an onboard GPS and both Tracey and Ewald had I-pad map displays.

So what makes TCT worthy of a 'navigation' award?

Stanwell 15th Sep 2016 08:02

Of course.
One question I do hope is asked...
On what evidence did the LAA base its decision to award the Bill Woodhams Trophy for an outstanding 'Feat of Navigation'?
Little more than Tracey's fairy tales, backed up by material from the TCT publicity machine, I'll wager.
I hope you kept that material on file, gents.


maxred 15th Sep 2016 08:47

Ms Tracey CURTIS-TAYLOR, appointed as Honorary Lieutenant Commander, Royal Naval Reserve
Just as an aside, how do you get that? Do you have to be in the RN Reserve? Do you have to have served as a cadet? What is the process. Anyone know?

B Fraser 15th Sep 2016 09:11

It doesn't take much, you don't even have to be a UK national. It has as much meaning as an honorary degree which are given out like sweets. I'm married to a Hon Lt Cdr in the proper RN. She would never capitalise on it by either wearing the uniform or a set of RN wings to which she was not entitled.

Mike Flynn 15th Sep 2016 09:19

There is another interesting element to that Telegraph story air police and that is the lies from Boeing in this press release.

CAPE TOWN, South Africa, Nov. 4, 2013 – With support from Boeing [NYSE: BA], pilot Tracey Curtis-Taylor has taken off on a 7,000-mile (11,000-kilometer) solo journey, in a reconditioned Boeing Stearman open-cockpit biplane, to retrace Lady Mary Heath’s historic 1928 flight between South Africa and the United Kingdom. http://boeing.mediaroom.com/Boeing-S...Biplane#Closed
The word SOLO was never retracted until this thread and the Daily Mail forced her to release the following statement.

In planning the expedition through Africa in 2013 there was an initial hope of a solo flight in the beautiful & original 1942 Boeing Stearman.

However, in the early stages of the flight this concept was intentionally and officially dropped...
Even then she claimed it was an original Stearman while Boeing said reconditioned.

The Boeing press release was then used by the Daily Telegraph.

After eight weeks and 9,825 miles, Curtis-Taylor, 51, British-born but raised in Canada, has completed her epic adventure: a re-creation of Lady Heath’s 1928 record-breaking flight from Cape Town to Cairo. The route took her through Zimbabwe, Zambia, Tanzania, Kenya, Uganda, Sudan and Egypt – before finally touching down at Goodwood in West Sussex.

Two people on board landing at Goodwood at the finale despite Boeing claiming it was a solo expedition!

Which of course then misled the LAA in to thinking she had done it all alone.

Lady Mary Heath arriving in Croydon in 1928. Observe only room for one pilot.


SATCOS WHIPPING BOY 15th Sep 2016 10:46

Judging by the other "embellishments", I do wonder if the incidents at Victoria Falls and the over-flight of the Presidential Palace, and the subsequent hauling over the coals and summons to ATC actually took place.

I would love to see her logbook, if only to verify that it has the Dewey number 823 on it.
To save you time, that is what should be on books that are English/Fiction. ;-)

Mike Flynn 15th Sep 2016 11:26

Dressed to fly https://elementalartsandculture.file...lady-heath.jpg
The fur coat must have been a necessity to keep warm.
Is that Ewalds grandfather in the front seat:O

Expatrick 15th Sep 2016 11:49


Cows getting bigger 15th Sep 2016 15:00

Returning to the solo vs. sole bit I think it worthwhile highlighting that there is still a great difference, regardless of whether the second person is a pilot or not. Those of us who have flown any significant distance/time know how boring and demotivating the task can be. Having someone with you who can laugh, argue, be a punchbag or just merely chat is a godsend. personally, I couldn't contemplate the loneliness of a 13000 mile flight with only a radio as a means of communication. I know it sounds a bit insignificant but the presence of another individual can make such a difference.

So, Ms TCT your flight wasn't really a challenge. I'm sure I could find some specialised travel/holiday company who could give me exactly the same experience at an exorbitant price. Not bad work if you can get it.

Sam Rutherford 15th Sep 2016 15:13

"Judging by the other "embellishments", I do wonder if the incidents at Victoria Falls and the over-flight of the Presidential Palace, and the subsequent hauling over the coals and summons to ATC actually took place."

They did, entirely accurate.

We did not, though, 'overlook' the European winter. It was the subject of much discussion decided on the basis that better weather in Africa was more important than better weather in Europe (the best periods for VMC in each continent are diametrically opposed).

pulse1 15th Sep 2016 15:34

Solo vs Sole
Forgetting my age for a moment, if someone offered me the chance to do what TCT has done I would jump at the chance with little hesitation. To have someone else to do all the planning, to have a more experienced pilot with me to discuss every one of the many decisions one makes during a flight and confirm that I am indeed landing where I think I am, would probably make it a great experience. If successful, it wouldn't occur to me that it might impress anyone else, let alone win awards. I would probably spin a yarn or two to impress my friends though.

However, if I was offered the chance to do the same thing solo, even with a back up plane, I would certainly turn it down. It would be beyond my capabilities and fright threshold, as it appears to have been beyond hers.

There is a massive difference between "sole" and "solo". For this reason I think that the LAA should withdraw their award.

Mike Flynn 15th Sep 2016 16:21

Surely to emulate Lady Mary Heath or Amy Johnson the flights should have been done alone with the pilot handling all the logistics and navigation.

The camera crew and GoPro's only being there to record the event.

It would have resulted in a more genuine, interesting expedition.

Maybe a tantrum or two and some tears might have added reality?

Of course the major issues occurred when it became apparent Tracey was not up to the task of flying the Spirit of Artifice to the UK after just a couple of flights in to the South Africa trip. 'How do we explain?'

The film company plus Boeing and Artemis sponsorship money committed.
The press primed. Prince Michael being so supportive.

When Ewald climbed in to the front seat the story changed to deceiving the press and public that she was alone in the biplane.
That was the Donald Crowhurst moment. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Donald_Crowhurst

The glossy Aviatrix stuff is visual candy but pure fiction.

Sadly so is this extract from a letter to TCT from the Honourable Company of Air Pilots sent in January 2016.


maxred 15th Sep 2016 20:40

Reading that, particularly the terms of reference, I honestly cannot believe they are going ahead with the presentation.

As soon as the facts of the event are clear......

Well, the facts, as they now appear, are far removed from the initial "Great feat in aviation". Surely someone has the stomach to stand up, say we erred, and move on.

Mike Flynn 15th Sep 2016 20:47

They are all over the place.

After this thread gained momentum and the truth became know via the Daily Mail HCAP back pedalled.

First, let me make my position clear. I am a member of the Trophies & Awards Committee of the Honourable Company of Air Pilots and I was present at the meeting when it was decided to award the Master’s Medal to Tracey (TCT for the rest of this email). The then Master Air Pilot suggested that she be awarded the Master’s Medal and this was approved by the T&A Committee and subsequently ratified by the Court.

The award was to recognise her organisational skills in mounting such an operation and getting the necessary sponsorship; thereby generating a massive amount of publicity and so raising the profile of aviation in the minds of the general public. The publicity generated will act as an inspiration to young people (especially women) who might be thinking of a career in aviation. It was not awarded to recognise a solo flight and the word “solo” does not appear in the citation for the award. In any event, it was a great achievement and not a flight that I personally would wish to undertake.

I hope this helps to clarify things in your mind. The decision has been made and it will be quite clear at the T&A Banquet in October that TCT has been awarded the Master’s Medal for the reasons stated above. I really think now that the time has come to draw a line under the matter and I hope you may feel generous enough to accept this.
Or this one following the Daily Mail story...

"The Honourable Company of Air Pilots has awarded Tracey Curtis Taylor The Master’s Medal for organising an aviation expedition from the UK to Australia, retracing the route flown by Amy Johnson as a tribute to her, which formed part of a wider promotional endeavour to encourage females into aviation. There was one specific, principal aim in mind: to promote aviation to many thousands of youngsters, especially women, across the globe for whom flying is a distant, even unknown or seemingly unachievable activity. This is particularly relevant when an estimated 400,000 new commercial pilots are needed worldwide in the next twenty years to meet anticipated growth. The Master’s award recognises Tracey Curtis-Taylor’s work in raising awareness of science and technology in general, and aviation in particular, amongst young women across the world”.

They have still not publicly announce what she will get the award for.

The award was to recognise her organisational skills
If it is based on organisational skills some may beg to differ.

This from a private email to me from an anonymous Duxford pilot and member of HCAP.

I am slightly mystified that part of TCT's past is never mentioned, including by her. At one time she ran the office for The Fighter Collection at Duxford .She most certainly never flew any of the TFC aircraft and, frankly, at the time I did not even know that she had ever learned to fly! She was an organisational nightmare and the person who took over from her had a monstrous task of getting everything straight. Now, she is never mentioned!

Mike Flynn 15th Sep 2016 21:03

There is more to come in newpapers over the coming weeks airpolice.
Just wait until she gets the Masters Medal.

The story now is how Boeing deliberately misled the media with false claims.

Boeing sponsors solo open cockpit flight from U.K. to Australia

BobD 16th Sep 2016 08:14

Jay, I think we can just wind this up now and delete the thread.
Moderators, please do NOT delete this thread ! It is highly amusing, and part of my morning ritual (much more interesting than the papers). There are bound to be more revelations to come.:\:\:\

Surely someone sometime is going to challenge her at a public event ?

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