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

Russell Gulch 23rd Oct 2016 21:58

"Bird" in a biplane is hardly the term to be used to "empower" women, is it?

Bird, in this context, is inappropriate.


Midlifec 23rd Oct 2016 22:06

Perhaps she can now take some time to explain retrospectively to each and every media outlet just how and why they all got it so wrong re the conduct of the flights....... solo vs sole isn't going to cut it when the press turn to professionals for comment

pilotmike 23rd Oct 2016 22:23

We must wonder why, when so many people are so scrupulous to edit out any material which might portray T C-T in a poor light from her Wiki page, are those same people apparently happy for lies such as this to remain:

the biplane was similar to Lady Heath's in size and design, but had some improvements such as... & GPS navigation system for use in controlled airspaces only (legal requirement).[11]
A GPS is not required in controlled airspace. And the criteria used for all the over-zealous pruning of statements which don't heap praise on her, ie, that the comment must be referenced to a reputable source, must similarly have to apply here, as there is no such reference to the (false) claim stating that she was effectively forced to carry a very good GPS only for use in controlled airspace in order to remain legal. And why the need for such compliance with the law in order for the GPS to be onboard the plane with her, when she has openly bragged about countless other instances of ignoring procedure, including but not limited to low flying, flying below VMC minima, flying into prohibited zones etc, from the very references that her supporters on Wiki insist are quoted:

“I ignored procedure,” she admits, eyes twinkling. “The place was deserted, so I just flew through the gorge. I was hauled over the coals by air traffic control for two hours.
“I begged forgiveness.... There was another time in Uganda, when I flew into a prohibited zone... I ended up over the president’s house. By the time I landed, there was a summons to the tower and they tried to impound the plane. I said, 'That’s ridiculous...' "

Along with all the other at best dubious claims - many others of which are believed to be completely untrue, is it not time for those with knowledge and access to reliable references to give her whole Wiki page the thorough (P)PRuNe it needs and deserves?

Forfoxake 23rd Oct 2016 22:31

Getting closer again in Wiki:

On October 22 2016, at the Annual General Meeting of the Light Aircraft Association, a motion was debated to rescind Curtis-Taylor's award of the Bill Woodhams trophy. The trophy had been presented to her for "an exceptional feat of navigation" for her flight from Cape Town, South Africa, to the United Kingdom. [27][28] A motion was raised subsequently, that this was not the case.[29] The motion to rescind the award was carried by 123 votes to 65, the majority of which were postal votes from members who were unable to attend the meeting in person.'

deefer dog 23rd Oct 2016 22:34

Helen Needham, producer at BBC radio Scotland, has now been updated with TCT's latest PR disaster.

The TCT PR team are going to awfully busy now, just like her wiki editors. I wonder who pays their bills, Boeing or Artiface?

SATCOS WHIPPING BOY 24th Oct 2016 00:22

I wonder how quickly she will be in contact with the newspapers to correct any upcoming "errors"; the same newspapers whom she found it impossible to contact to correct the "solo" headlines.

One thing that will now be going on is these papers will be looking into their archives to dig out any press-packs or press-releases that they had originally worked to.

Ref the GPS and controlled airspace. Can a non-IR pilot fly in controlled airspace (Class A that is). Did any of these flights occur in Class A airspace?

Final point, I understand that there were plans to continue the trans-USA flight. If so, then I would really like to see her do it totally alone. All of the reasons given for having Ewald with her ie engineering support, and the chase plane for filming and tanking would not be required. I'd wager that she would get lost, so I would want some form of safety net for her; I am not a sadist and do not wish her any harm.

clareprop 24th Oct 2016 07:53

First article from a broadsheet. The Daily Telegraph:

"A self-styled “bird in a biplane” who became the poster girl for female flyers has been stripped of an award amid claims she used a co-pilot on a solo mission."

wiggy 24th Oct 2016 08:03

Ah that's interesting....I doubt the Mirror is read by many running charities/ organisations/institutions but the Telegraph is another matter and I would hope the article leaves less room for credible deniability , aka, "problem? what problem?"

Well done to all those who made it so.......

"Bird" in a biplane is hardly the term to be used to "empower" women, is it?
Russell...this old f ****, who flies with female pilots (ATPLers) from time to time agrees, and more importantly that's also the opinion of my teenage daughter...she thinks it's crass....

BEagle 24th Oct 2016 08:14

Also in the Völkischer Beobachter:

Self-styled 'Bird in a Biplane' stripped of prestigious flying award over allegations she wasn't flying solo during her epic trips | Daily Mail Online

clareprop 24th Oct 2016 08:22


Also in the Völkischer Beobachter:
Snorted Weetabix is not attractive on a keyboard....

Sir Niall Dementia 24th Oct 2016 08:29

Page 11 of today's Daily Telegraph makes satisfying reading!

As for "where are your youngsters? where are your the women?" that demonstrates a priceless, and patronising lack of aviation knowledge.

The LAA Young Eagles programme has volunteers using their own aircraft to fly as many youngsters as possible. There are hundreds of lady members of the LAA, some of whom fly some very interesting and challenging aircraft.

The membership of the LAA is mainly made up of people who either restore, fly and lovingly maintain vintage aircraft, or spend years building thier own, or people who are enthusiasts about such aircraft. Building, restoring, or maintaining such machine is far from cheap and there are very few youngsters who can afford to do that whilst buying houses, bringing up families and managing a career. The lucky few usualy get to fly mum and dad's pride and joy or get into a syndicate, and make sacrifices in other areas.

As for women; Tracy on the airport where I work is one of the biggest commercial flight training schools in the world. A stream of students walks past my office every day and many of them are women. They are future airline captains, training captains, senior airline management. Airlines don't care that they are women, they care that they achieve the standards to fly some mighty complex machinery around the world. They are not boastful about their achievements, they are bright, confident young people with an exciting career ahead of them, and they are all races and creeds, just what does your "outreach" do for them?

While I admire your ability to gain sponsorship I do hope that now you will take a little quiet time to take a good look at aviation, it is one of the least biased, most inclusive professions in the world, where ability and talent will take you to the top, where if you are involved as a hobby there are always good people willing to help. But, aviation is also very unforgiving. Lose the trust of fellow pilots and it is probably gone forever. If you intend to continue in aviation you need to earn the trust and respect of everyone in the community. Back off with how great you are, that has been proven to be wrong. Get into outreach for women in aviation, there are a few parts of the world that need it, earn an HCAP Masters Medal for that. (I would actually support you in that) Get into outreach for the disabled in aviation, there is an area that really needs funding. Just lay off with what an inspiration you are.

Edit: Your Wiki page claims you flew in the RIAT display in 2013. I flew every day in that display, I don't remember you at the daily pilots'brief, nor do I remember a green Stearman flying in the display, what did you fly and who for?


fujii 24th Oct 2016 08:35

From the Daily Telegraph article: PPRune is now a respected forum. How will PPRruners live this one down?

His presence triggered widespread protest on respected flight forums Flyer and the Professional Pilots Rumour Network.

Jonzarno 24th Oct 2016 08:42

Just lay off with what an inspiration you are.
And take off the RAF wings.

The Old Fat One 24th Oct 2016 08:46

Re Artemis.

As I've previously mentioned Artemis are regulated by the FCA and that includes their marketing. The FCA tend not to take prisoners these days. I'm pretty sure Artemis will have long since run for cover and distanced themselves, but even so I'm thinking their compliance departing will be a shedding a housebrick or two this morning. If anybody wants to follow that up their director of communications is:

[email protected]

Genghis the Engineer 24th Oct 2016 08:54

Sir Niall,

Sidetracking a bit.

Like a lot of people here, I've worked in aviation all my adult life. I agree that at some points there's a commendable lack of gender bias - I've very seldom, for example, heard of issues on a flight deck. Sadly, TCT has a point that a lot of it does suffer badly from gender imbalance.

Last week I was at the RAeS Greener by Design conference - this is the annual get together where we all review the impact that aviation is having on the environment and how we can improve and mitigate those effects. Something that I'm sure most people would agree is important, attracting people from across our profession.

There were 81 delegates - 12 were women. There were 28 speakers, 1 was a woman. Chatting about this with the (female) administrative staff at the society, they said that they thought that this was about normal for headquarters conferences.

(There were at least a number of young and engaged aviation professionals there, as well as us greybeards.)

Whilst I don't think that TCT has done any significant good towards promoting aviation for women or anybody else - she's just out for what aviation can do for her. She is right that there are problems that need solving. And if, in addition to perhaps flying solo occasionally, she would roll her sleeves up and help address some of these things - she might start to be accepted as worth the amount of oxygen she's consuming by the rest of the aviation community. That of course means the thankless hundreds of hours of unpaid volunteering that many women and men already put into these causes - most of those people you've never heard of because they're not doing it for themselves or the publicity.


wiggy 24th Oct 2016 08:54

And take off the RAF wings.
+1 from me.

wiggy 24th Oct 2016 09:04

. She is right that there are problems that need solving.

Hate to say it but maybe the conference demographics you describe might be more a consequence of engineering than aviation.

FWIW my daughter is in the middle of a course overseas doing what might be loosely described in the UK as an M. Eng and she reckons that even now only about 10% -15% of her course are female...

OTOH from what I have witnessed at the airline where we work the percentage of new joiners who are female is significantly higher, and I'd agree very much with Sir Niall - the demography is changing.

I think TCT has missed the boat when it comes to empowering women, certainly in Western Aviation...but I'm sure she used it as bait when it came to dealing with sponsors and the media.

Genghis the Engineer 24th Oct 2016 09:23

My other main institution is the Society of Experimental Test Pilots. I'm not used to seeing as high as 10% women test pilots at those conferences. Realistically, probably under 5%.

I think that overt sexism BY AVIATION PROFESSIONALS is rare, but the only faintly gender balanced profession I'm aware of in aviation is cabin crew - and the more senior you get, the more imbalanced it becomes.

The Greener by Design conference, incidentally was engineers, scientists, pilots, economists, ecologists - across the board of aviation professionals, and across the board imbalanced.

Yes, non-aviation engineering also has a problem. About 9% female according to the IET.

And people don't see it. A good example was the most recent Star Wars film - my wife (a fully paid up professional feminist) commented that they seemed to have gone overboard in loading it with powerful female characters. So I worked it out - about 1/3rd of the main characters were female, and 2/3rd male. People see 1/3rd female - in a movie, or a workplace, and think that it's become female heavy and either positive discrimination is happening or all the problems have gone away !

(Mind you, I do worry that if it ever does become truly equal, I might be one of the mediocre white males that gets the shove and I'll have to go and be a househusband. Then again, who knows, I might be really good at it !)


Sir Niall Dementia 24th Oct 2016 09:54


You and I are now old and crinkly, and have reached a level in our areas of expertise where few women have yet to tread, but they will. I know a young lady who has just completed an aeronautical engineering degree, I was surprised to find out how many women were on her course (about 40%).

A heck of a lot in aviation requires a lot of experience. It takes time to get that experience, but once that experience is earned doors open. A newly qualified CPL (of any sex) is not going to make a trainer, or ops manager, until they have done some time.


Genghis the Engineer 24th Oct 2016 10:11

I do hope that you are right - but I'm not sure that you are (apart from the old and crinkly bit, which is sadly indisputable!).

Only yet more time will tell I suppose, but in the meantime, we should certainly not relax about it.


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