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

WeeJeem 24th Oct 2016 14:51

2 Attachment(s)
I'm glad to hear that the LAA side of things has gone in what I would regard as an appropriate direction.

But, as others have said, I don't believe for a second that this is the end of the affair. There's too much at stake for too many involved parties for that, in various forms including public credibility, corporate carelessness, misrepresentation, ego and money.

Ah, yes - money.
Money, money, money.
And you know what they say...
"When in doubt, follow the money."

Originally Posted by deefer dog (Post 9551112)
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.

Is this the text you had in mind?, dd? If so, it's still on the website (or at least for the moment).

A small number of recent articles about my flights have suggested or implied that I have misrepresented or have sought to mislead people into believing that I undertook my flights alone and without support. I am considering taking legal action against the individuals who were the sources for these articles as I consider them to be part of a course of conduct designed to cause damage and distress.
The facts are:
I have never made false assertions about the nature of my flights and I dismiss the suggestion that they are "mired in controversy". Any controversy that has arisen has been as a result of the actions of the individuals referred to above.
As I have stated previously, I began with the intention of trying to fly the Africa flight solo (as the original descriptive materials from Nylon films show) but a combination of elements resulted in fundamental changes being made to the nature of that expedition. Several people flew with me on multiple legs between Cape Town and the UK. These included sponsors, film crew and my engineer, Ewald Gritsch.
The expedition was project managed by Nylon Films and they controlled the expedition website 'Cape Town to Goodwood' and its promotional information and sub-contractors. I have never sought to mislead anyone about the way that my flights were undertaken. It is clear from what I say about the Africa flight and subsequent expeditions that they were not solo flights and that I was accompanied by a support crew.
Ewald Gritsch is not my flying instructor and nor did he fly my aeroplane at any material time (click here to see statement from Ewald Gritsch himself). Specifically, he did not fly my aeroplane instead of me during any of the flights comprising the Africa, Australia or US expeditions. Ewald's primary role in all of these expeditions has been to provide engineering, technical and flight planning support. He is my principal crew and the only person who is fully qualified to look after the aeroplane in what have been some very testing circumstances. I say “material time” above because he has flown my aeroplane for the purposes of providing engineering and technical support and for recreational purposes.
As a result of the difficult experiences in Africa we adopted an entirely different approach for the Australia and US expeditions. These were managed through my company, Bird in a Biplane. At no time was there any suggestion that these later expeditions were solo flights, although some of the press coverage erroneously reported that they were. I cannot control what other people say about what I do, whether it be in the media or otherwise.
Ewald and I undertook all of the logistical planning for the UK to Australia flight and with the support of one of my principal sponsors, Boeing, and the Britain is Great Campaign, were able to build an extensive outreach programme around the expedition, connecting with young people and raising the profile of women in aviation around the world. This will feature prominently in the documentary film which is currently being edited.
I consider the real achievement of the past five years not just a flying feat, but the sustained effort of raising the funding and building the network of international support for my outreach programme which made the whole programme possible.

Tracey Curtis-Taylor


A couple of wee aside might be in order here:
1/ The "Source" url provided is "http://www.birdinabiplane.com/oct_statement/", the latter part of which bears of little brain such as myself might suppose to be a shorthand "October Statement".
When one view the link and looks at the tab name or one prints it (see attached pdf), one sees "Statement - 11th June 2016".

How strange. :ooh:
Or maybe it doesn't say that at all and I'm just misreading or misinterpreting it - as so many people seem to do in this matter. :rolleyes:
2/ Anyone familiar with the UK's Data Protection Act or its libel laws will immediately recognise the phrase "damage and distress". I'm sure this is just a coincidental choice of phrasing and not at all put there following legal counsel. :hmm:
I've also attached a copy of Herr Gritsch's statement for convenience (and, of course, posterity). I have to say that reading it, like reading the NTSB "report", has triggered WeeJeem's Niggles again, more of which anon :cool:

deefer dog 24th Oct 2016 15:13

Absolutely clareprop,

TCT can use measle mouth words and explanations as much as she wants, and even try to twist "sole pilot" to take on the well established meaning of "solo pilot," but it would take a lexicographer with magical powers to make "alone in a biplane" have the same meaning as "with someone else in a biplane."

Smoking gun indeed, and one I think TCT's junior barrister might have trouble in dealing with if she hopes to prove that the ney sayers have no argument.

Here's THAT photo:

After Arizona desert crash, critics of British pilot say they want the truth behind famous flights | National Post

Stanwell 24th Oct 2016 15:13

Oh dear, Tracey..
One of your two major sponsors, BOEING, don't seem to be able to get things right either, eh?
Because the last time I looked at their website, just some weeks ago, they were still trumpeting your 'expedition' as "SOLO".
The sheer incompetence of their PR department!
Or, perhaps, it had just slipped your mind to have a word with them as well?
Silly girl.

SATCOS WHIPPING BOY 24th Oct 2016 15:43

The story has now been picked up by the BBC

Biplane adventurer Tracey Curtis-Taylor stripped of award - BBC News

and this one from the BT news page http://home.bt.com/news/uk-news/bird...11364107736716

advises that "She will be taking legal action."

Katamarino 24th Oct 2016 15:56

What a very light-weight article from the BBC. They ignore the real issues. All their online news seems to be written for people with an attention span limited to 30 seconds.

noflynomore 24th Oct 2016 16:27

With her airplane, the Boeing Stearman "Spirit of Artemis", she was on static and/or ylying display at the Royal International Air Tattoo in 2013, 2014 and 2015, at the Goodwood Revival / Glorious Goodwood, in 2014 at the RNAS Yeovilton Air Day in 2013, 2014 and 2015 , as well as the Cowes Regatta.
In 2015 she flew at the Amy Johnson Memorial Air Show at Herne Bay, Kent, England.[10]
In 2015 she was displaying at the Dubai Airshow and in the years 2014 and 2016 at the Farnborough International Airshow.

What a weaselly-worded paragraph that is! Love the typo (?) in the first sentence!

That and/or. Just for the record, can anyone confirm which of those shows she appeared at as static and which as flying? It would be nice to see this once again hugely misleading paragraph amended to something that relates more clearly to reality.

Did she fly in the display at any of these, or was her presence purely static? For the benefit of anyone unsure of the meaning of "in the display" I mean during the display itself. Flying into and out of the venue does not count unless it involved an official display routine.

RIAT and Yeovilton, '13, '14 and '15.
Goodwood '14
Dubai '15
Farnborough '14 and '16

That's 10 displays that they are implying she may have flown at on the basis of an "and/or" semantic weasel by including Cowes Regatta in the list. I can find no record of her flying at any of those ten, can anyone else?

I accept she probably wasn't static at the massive and important Cowes Regatta Airshow but the Herne Bay event seems the only one they're actually stating she flew in. What of all the others?

It isn't doing much for her reputation as a truth teller if her supporters are writing such transparently and deliberately misleading stuff on her Wiki page. Hasn't enough damage been done to her reputation by spouting this kind of deliberate obfuscation already?

Maintaining the Big Lie is a futile effort. The truth will out.

Chris Scott 24th Oct 2016 16:32

Yes, Katamarino. Very much written from the lady's current perspective. The selective quotes from Messrs Gritsch and Rutherford seem to have been chosen to minimise the degree of the deception. It'll be interesting to hear what Sam Rutherford has to say in his next post here.

B Fraser 24th Oct 2016 16:43

She was static at Yeovilton and I was static at this year's Fairford, in very similar circumstances i.e. neither of us are the registered owners according to official records.

Will I ever say that I "displayed" ? Never in a month of Sundays.

ShyTorque 24th Oct 2016 16:49

Originally Posted by Jay Sata (Post 9551183)
Does it really take three years to earn the RAF brevet?

It certainly did in the time that T C-T would have entered RAF training, had she been able. The Flying badge (Wings) were only awarded after advanced flying training was completed.
The RAF would also take them back again if "combat ready" status wasn't achieved with in a certain time period on an operational squadron (six months, I believe, it might have been as long as nine months to allow for remedial training). This happened to an ex-colleague of mine.

I also recall that when the RAF first advocated using civilian flying instructors to supplement RAF trained QFIs/QHIs (early 1990s?), it was put forward that they "would be integrated so as to be indistinguishable from the squadron instructors, including the wearing of the RAF flying badge on their flying clothing", or words to that effect. It caused universal uproar.

Everyone agreed that they should be given the same pay, flying clothing and even equivalent rank tabs, but RAF "Wings" were held sacrosanct. I believe the latter was respected by the RAF/MOD.

But not by some....

SATCOS WHIPPING BOY 24th Oct 2016 16:50

This should be interesting:
'Bird in a biplane' hits back at claims she did not fly solo as she threatens legal action

The same paper that has confirmed to me that TCT made the comment about being "...on my own".

The author of this article may do well to speak to Katie Archer, the Editorial Compliance Executive who assured me she had verified the story with the journalist who took the interview, Nicola Harley.

Now, just where did I put my popcorn. :ok:

Midlifec 24th Oct 2016 16:50

Does she have a display authorisation? Just wondered as we have not heard it claimed....

B Fraser 24th Oct 2016 17:09

If you click on Mr Satco's link, the story contains the phrase "it is clear ......... that these were not solo flights"

At the foot of the page, there is a video with a rather unfortunate title " British aviator Tracey Curtis-Taylor lands in Australia after flying 3 months solo from UK"

Ooops !

Cows getting bigger 24th Oct 2016 17:41

"I have never sought to mislead anyone about the way that my flights were undertaken.

It is clear from what I say about the Africa flight and subsequent expeditions that they were not solo flights and that I was accompanied by a support crew"


Of course :=she's never sought to mislead.

Haraka 24th Oct 2016 17:43

There is an hysterically inept attempt at a rearguard action floundering about on her Wiki site of late. On these bases(?) of argument(s) a court hearing could indeed be an amusing spectacle. .

ShyTorque 24th Oct 2016 18:00

Quite some long time ago I seem to recall a case of an aircraft accident in UK where both pilots on board were held to blame by the CAA. One of the pilots claimed that he could not be held liable because he wasn't a designated member of the crew. The CAA disagreed, stating that if you're sitting in a crew seat and qualified to fly the type you're part of the crew. Unfortunately I cannot recall when or where this was, but the thought has always stuck with me since.

strake 24th Oct 2016 18:05

Her Wikipedia page is like watching one of those flicker books. This morning, it seemed like there was quite a sensible explanation on there with a contribution from the CEO of the LAA. Right now (although who knows what it will be in the next few seconds), after a day of reporting in the media and the BBC actually calling her a liar, there's now just two lines under 'Controversy' with the LAA demoted to 'a UK body'. It seems to me the 'Controversy' is over - it's now out in the open as fact.

deefer dog 24th Oct 2016 18:22


Thanks, yes that was the warning that popped up on her site that I once saw, but when I log onto her site it no longer pops up for me. No worries.

Yes, I did notice the line about damage and distress. I would have thought that anyone who brings it upon themselves as a result of not being being completely honest about their achievements, or who peddles half truths or is extremely careless with the truth, deserves to suffer from damage and distress once they get exposed. Many might suffer this as a result of their own conscience, but not everyone has one of these.

I cannot imagine for one moment Boeing, Artemis or TCT wanting this to EXPLODE on the front pages and onto everyone's tea time TV just yet. She has an unfinished trip to pick up soon, and perhaps a different passenger to find if she isn't able (or circumstances and logics don't allow) fly it all by herself. Alone that is.

Also, I'd be interested to learn who is writing these warning shots. They need to improve their use of English grammar.

pulse1 24th Oct 2016 18:41


This is probably the accident you are thinking of:


As I used to fly a lot with a more experienced pilot it meant something to me too.

sophi 24th Oct 2016 18:45

According to the UK Daily Telegraph PPRuNe is a respected forum. I agree with that.

I wonder why Tracey Curtis Taylor or her supporters have not used these pages to put forward their side of the story or answered any of the points put by those who are complaining about deception?

Please Tracey, come and tell us your side of the story. If some here are making untrue accusations I am sure you could settle the matter. You could help the problem go away.

I'm also sure that the people here are mostly genuine, and maybe if they need to apologise they will do it. Likewise if you have made some mistakes, I'm sure any apology from you will be taken gracefully.

Could you engage with us please Tracey?

Sir Niall Dementia 24th Oct 2016 18:51

Ref T C-T flying at RIAT 2013, see post 2009 on this thread.

I flew every day in the display at RIAT 2013, I have no memory of T C-T at the daily pilots' briefing, nor do I remember ever seeing the Stearman flying in the display.

My memory may have been affected by the astonishing level of booze the Frecce poured down me at the last night hangar party, but I'm certain T C-T never displayed anything unless she was one of the stunning samba dancers wearing nothing but feathers and heels who entertained that night.


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