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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 24th Oct 2016 09:51

How times change.

I recall seeing TCT often referred to in the media as "display pilot", "former diamond valuer at De Beers", "Commercial Pilot", "Flying Instructor", "former member of the Foreign Office" etc

Now it has all been simplified to become "former waitress".

Cessnafly 24th Oct 2016 10:07

Bird in a biplane accused of using a co-pilot | UK | News
Daily Express‎ - 35 mins ago


deefer dog 24th Oct 2016 10:08

I wonder if our poster girl will pick up the route of her US trip, and I wonder whether Ewald might be forced to give up his seat to prove a point. If he does it will be interesting to see who they choose for this "passenger" duty.

If she does fly it "solo" (and by that I mean completely alone, all be herself, without anyone else in the airplane), will they ditch the idea of a chase plane, and instead have a lead plane? By all accounts I've heard (completely unsubstantiated with facts) she couldn't find her @[email protected]@ with both hands.

SND. Tracey uses the word "display" in the context of static or ground. Without the qualifier it sounds much better in her bio. Kind of exaggerates it.

Mike Flynn 24th Oct 2016 10:36

Regarding the Express story this picture demonstrates her arrogance in thinking she can wear the WW2 RAF brevet and no one will notice.
This picture (according to today's story) taken at a high end hotel in India.

So many airmen worked hard to achieve the right to wear it and she has it stitched on to join all the sponsors patches as if it meant nothing.

In my opinion she chose it to give herself some sort of 'approved pilot' status.

Reminds me of the Walts who turn up at Remembrance Day wearing SAS military berets.

Regarding the American flights they were suggested in local tv reports to be solo flying on the old US mail routes although once again the Stearman was wrong for the period.

The US mail pilots flew as fast as they could from point to point and always solo.

They certainly never went sightseeing in the Grand Canyon.

I see nothing wrong with TCT or others trying to make reality tv programmes. However when it comes to exploiting the press and public to get the sponsors names splashed everywhere by suggesting these were solo flights or part of a round the world trip then is another matter.

ShyTorque 24th Oct 2016 10:58

People seem to ignore the fact that many women don't actually WANT a career in aviation. Their own choice, not because the industry doesn't want them or tries to exclude them. My own daughter is amongst those who might well soon apply to join the RAF, but not as aircrew. Her choice, I've hidden my own slight disappointment about the latter.

When TCT was in the age bracket to join the RAF, she wouldn't have been allowed to join as a student pilot. But that rule was rescinded almost thirty years ago! I taught a number of RAF UAS female cadets to fly, from the late 1980s onwards. One of them became the Captain of the RAF's first all female fast jet crew. Another got as far as first solo (with a lot of effort from myself) but decided she didn't wish to go further. Her choice, I tried my best to encourage her to continue with the syllabus.

Perhaps TCT has some sort of chip on her shoulder about her rejection by the RAF.

BUT TAKE THAT RAF FLYING BADGE OFF YOUR FLYING SUIT! You are NOT entitled to wear one, even if Prince Michael of Kent gave it to you. It takes three years of damned hard work to earn one.

There, I've been on PPRuNe since May 1995 and that's the first time I've ever raised my voice in capital letters!

deefer dog 24th Oct 2016 11:16

It looks like here BIAB web site has been changed....or at least that pop up highlighting her side of the controversy seems to have disappeared.

B Fraser 24th Oct 2016 11:16

There are plenty of women pilots in India already however fraud appears to be commonplace when it comes to qualifications.

Fake IndiGo pilot arrested, is wife of an IPS officer - Times of India

Another case of "who you know".

edited to add : My grandfather was in the SAS so can I wear his badges ? I am very proud of his years of dedication given to the Scottish Ambulance Service. ;)

SATCOS WHIPPING BOY 24th Oct 2016 11:21

I agree with your post ShyTorque, particularly that first part; a friend of mine has a daughter who was offered a job as a trainee pilot with DragonAir (?). She elected not to follow that career.

As for the wings, I think this was alluded to in an earlier post in that it needs to be brought to the attention of the MOD police.

It was clear in the Army Act 1955 but it appears that this has been superseded by the Armed Forces Act 2006 but I am finding it difficult to identify the specific offence if it has been changed or reworded.

The Army Act (1955) makes it illegal to impersonate a member of the armed forces. The act makes wearing any military decoration, badge or other insignia without authority a criminal offence. The idea is, that by wearing them, you are deceiving people into thinking you are someone that you are not. This has been done by people trying to collect for bogus charities, or to get sympathy.
I quite like this online snippet I found and I believe the latter underlined part has a good deal of relevance:

But it is more than a legal issue, respect comes into it too. Surely anyone with any sense will feel that to wear something that you haven’t earned is disrespectful to the people who have earnt it. The same goes for things such as Parachute Wings and Commando Daggers – if you didn’t earn them, don’t wear them. If you feel the need to lie to people and pretend to be something that you’re not, then maybe it might be an idea to go and have a chat with your doctor and see if they can refer you for professional help.
source : https://dalyhistory.wordpress.com/20...earned-medals/

We know for certain that a legally tested offence does exist because in 2010 Roger Day was successfully prosecuted.

source: BBC News - Is it illegal to wear medals you weren't awarded?

farsouth 24th Oct 2016 12:11

I know this thread has gone round and round the same topics, but for anyone drawn to it by the recent turn of events who doesn't have the inclination to read it from the start, this article is a very good summary of what all the fuss is about -
After Arizona desert crash, critics of British pilot say they want the truth behind famous flights | National Post

Mike Flynn 24th Oct 2016 12:23

Does it really take three years to earn the RAF brevet?

Chris Scott 24th Oct 2016 12:25

Re pilotmike post #2001, quote from Wiki:
"...the biplane was similar to Lady Heath's in size and design..."

I think it needs to be said here, for the benefit of readers who may not (yet) be aviation anoraks, that the statement is misleading.

The Stearman first flew in the mid-1930s, whereas Lady Heath flew her Avro Avian from Cape Town to England (Croydon) in 1928.

While the wingspan and fuselage-length of the Stearman are only slightly greater than Heath's Avro Avian and Amy Johnson's DH Gypsy Moth, the Stearman is a far more robust and powerful machine. Its loaded weight is about twice that of either, and its original versions had well over twice the power of Heath's 84 horse-power Avian. Ms Curtis-Taylor's aircraft has over three times the power.

Mike Flynn 24th Oct 2016 12:52

There is so much of her story that does not add up Chris and the choice of Stearman must have been to satisfy primary sponsors Boeing. A DH Moth would have been a near period as possible and there are plenty flying in Africa and Australia despite the 'heat'.

In my opinion The Spirit of Artemis was never planned to "emulate" Mary Heath or Amy Johnson.
It was a high profile PR excercise makin a semi period reality tv show with plenty of low flying and great vistas.

As for the so called "outreach" I would substitute that for exploitation of the local people enroute to add atmosphere to her film.

By way of example TCT and Ewald arrived in Darwin in no great rush to reach Sydney.
They then flew to Lajamanu which is a remote airstrip a long way west of the normal VFR route from Darwin to Alice via Tennant Creek.

Lajamanu is an aborginal settlement but has a decent airstrip,with Avgas and Jet1. This is the place she described as having Aborigines scrambling for fuel.

Here is the approach from poster sgtbilko


And here is TCT departing with Ewald


I think they chose this site for the sake of the film they were making to give dramatic effect with landscape and local people.

Her is a short clip on the community.

Darwin to Alice is an easy trip and I speak from experience having flown it.

SATCOS WHIPPING BOY 24th Oct 2016 13:15

To answer Jay's query:

Depends upon what you set as the start marker. To earn the brevet you need to complete officer training first, and of course before that there are all the interviews and aptitude tests, and before that the work towards the dream.
For my lad in the RN:
From joining Dartmouth to getting his wings was 3 years and 6 months, from starting EFT to completing BFJT and getting his wings was 1 year and 11 months.
He had about 18 months of waiting and tests, and interviews etc before joining, throw on top of that the time and energy he spent in the cadets working towards his target and the years before that dreaming of what he wanted to do.

I have a school letter he wrote aged 9 outlining his dream to be a sea-harrier pilot...so in his case it has taken 11 years of hard work to achieve his dream.

...and here she is flaunting them the way a cow at a farmers market wears a rosette - as if they are meaningless.

pulse1 24th Oct 2016 13:16

Does it really take three years to earn the RAF brevet?
As an anxious parent watching his son go through the FAA version it certainly seemed like three years, with the threat of the chop always there. I know that what annoys him about TCT is that RAF/FAA wings mean that the holder is(or at least was) "operational ready", not just that they have been trained to operate a flying machine.

noflynomore 24th Oct 2016 13:26

Re the GPS and "legal requirement in controlled airspace".

I seem to recall from years back that transit of Egypt required a light aircraft or helicopter to follow airways at a quite ridiculous level, FL120 or so - probably due to the military state's paranoia VFR was either not recognised or was not allowed at low level.

It could well be that states with regs as restrictive as this might require a GPS in order to follow the airway - so TCT's statement about GPS being required may, once again, contain a localised nub of truth.

Oh yes, and

And take off the RAF wings.
And the RN uniform too.

How on earth is she going to stand up (in that uniform?) as Guest of Honour at the Taranto Night dinner at BRNC next month?
This is going to get more and more interesting as time goes on.

clareprop 24th Oct 2016 13:27


I've always maintained that article is 'the smoking gun'. Apart from the many news articles reporting her 'solo' flight, which TCT or her representatives never corrected, that article has an image of her standing in front of a giant presentation foil which states:'7000 miles in 32 legs over 6 weeks, alone in an open cock-pit(sic) plane' That single image makes a mockery of her protestations about 'sole' flying and how she can't be held responsible for what others say and write about her.

Mike Flynn 24th Oct 2016 13:51

The Honourable Company Of Air Pilots hold their awards dinner this Thursday 27th October

Given the Daily Telegraph story today are they still planning to give her a Masters Medal alongside Tim Peake despite having the embarrassment of rescinding this letter earlier in the year?

I have had quite a few pm's suggesting the award could be overturned by votes at the HCAP AGM next spring. Rumour has it some of the younger members and indeed the Australian and Hong Kong branches are not happy.

20/20 hindsight is a wonderful thing.
Steve Slater,chief exec of the LAA is quoted in today's Telegraph.

“This issue has divided opinion but it is not for me to decide.

“I am happy that the members feel able to air their views and it’s down to the members to decide.

“The award was made in good faith but in the light of what has emerged since we made the award, it is fair to say maybe we would have made a different decision.”

robin 24th Oct 2016 14:43

Perhaps TCT has some sort of chip on her shoulder about her rejection by the RAF.

BUT TAKE THAT RAF FLYING BADGE OFF YOUR FLYING SUIT! You are NOT entitled to wear one, even if Prince Michael of Kent gave it to you. It takes three years of damned hard work to earn one.

There, I've been on PPRuNe since May 1995 and that's the first time I've ever raised my voice in capital letters!
Just a question

Is it some sort of family brevet - Dad, Uncle etc? If so I can sort of agree that it might be just about acceptable. If not - as above....

SATCOS WHIPPING BOY 24th Oct 2016 14:48

Originally Posted by robin (Post 9551356)
Just a question

Is it some sort of family brevet - Dad, Uncle etc? If so I can sort of agree that it might be just about acceptable. If not - as above....

I may be wrong but I understand that the wearing of family medals and such like is permitted but convention dictates that they are not worn as to receive undue credit. I could wear, on certain occasions, my father's and grandfather's medals but these would be worn over my right breast. I suspect similar would apply to a brevet where it is worn as a mark of remembrance rather than self aggrandizement.

Danny42C 24th Oct 2016 14:49

Jay Sata (#2022),

Interested in the Wings she's sporting in the pic above. At a guess, they appear to be (a) slightly smaller than the standard drab silk normal pattern, and (b) in gold lace. And (as has been pointed out already on this Thread), they show a King's Crown on top. Queen Elizabeth came to the Throne on 6th February, 1952.

Where had I seen a similar thing before ? A search on "Pilot's Brevet" Thread (Military Aviation Forum) yielded my Post (page 165, #3288). Excerpt follows:

...I'd picked a bad time to buy a new SD.
Around 1950, the Service Dress jacket pattern had changed from the pre-war style. This was the story as I heard it. Pre-war, there had been a Mess Kit for RAF officers: a very natty short pale blue "Eton" jacket and waistcoat, and a gold stripe down the side of the "trews". The war had put all these into mothballs "for the duration", and in the austere post-war years it had continued to be thought inappropriate (and too expensive) to revive their use. For dinners and functions in Mess, your No. 1 uniform was quite good enough.

But there were mutterings among some older and senior officers (who had kept their Mess kits and were still able to get into them) that this was "letting the side down" and amounted to a lapse in standards. There was a Committee somewhere in Air Ministry which busied itself with these matters. Some bright spark came up with a compromise. Why not have a SD jacket which could double as a Mess kit top ? People now wore battledress all the time on duty: off duty you always wore mufti. The only time your SD came out of the wardrobe was for parades and Mess functions - when you wore it with a white shirt and a black bow.

It seemed that King George VI took a keen interest in these proceedings - after all, he had been an RAF officer as Duke of York in the twenties. He had the last word in any change in the Sealed Pattern of any Service uniform. He approved this idea of a dual-purpose SD jacket. Now to design one to his liking.

I can only report that the Committee and its royal patron took leave of their collective senses. What they came up with was an incredible thing. The back centre seam of the jacket was replaced by a double "syce cut" (like an old policeman's tunic). The lower patch pockets came off. The fourth (bottom) button below the buckle came off, replaced by a small, flat button to go under it. To cap it all, the wings were in gold lace !...

The decision (which evoked howls of derision and execration) was reversed after a year or so. But one last trace of the folly was stubbornly retained; the old wartime four-button jacket came back (inc. centre back seam and patch pockets) - but the small, flat button under the buckle still replaced the fourth button.

Meanwhile many people (and I) had bought the wretched things (and were heavily out of pocket). For we chucked them away, got out our old jackets and chopped the bottom button off, shrugged the buckle down a bit, and Bob's yer uncle ! - new patten jacket.

Could T.C.-T. have found one of these 65 year old garments and cut the gold lace wings off ? More likely they were knocked up by a goldsmith in the local (Indian) bazaar. But then why do a King's crown ?

"Curiouser and curiouser", said Alice.


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