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-   -   2018 Light Aircraft Association AGM award vote (https://www.pprune.org/private-flying/613447-2018-light-aircraft-association-agm-award-vote.html)

Chris Martyr 29th Oct 2018 22:13

There are lady pilots everywhere ! Some of whom contribute on here . Maybe they feel that it is unnecessary and an insult to them to waste energy in acknowledging this woman's flawed logic and twisted thinking !
I have conducted a somewhat impromptu straw poll/survey in the airline that I work for . We do indeed have lady engineers . Not that many granted , but the ones we do have are very competent and respected in what they do . Were they obstructed in pursuing such positions in the aviation industry ? Absolutely not ! Would they encourage their peers to pursue a similar career ? I believe the facts are that many girls simply don't permeate towards this as a career . But nothing ,,,,,absolutely nothing,,,,[you listening Tracey] ,,stops them from doing this if they wish !
I have also polled a few of our pilots over this matter too ,,and we have quite a few lady B747 pilots . Here we have a similar story . They have achieved what they have through total hard work and single-minded dedication . [the same as the blokes] Not reliance on easily manipulated , channel visioned and easily flattered old fools .

The journalists who have taken the bait on this are either a tad naïve , or have not done their research properly . Had they done so , then they would know that the real story is one helluva better read than the one that Tracey has spun them !

Jonzarno 30th Oct 2018 05:29

Ms Curtis-Taylor certainly seems to have a flair for generating publicity for her cause.

It does seem a bit strange that, given the rather personal nature of her attacks on “misogynistic old men”, which could be described as “playing the man and not the ball”: none of the journalists to whom she has made her claims have reached out to offer a right to reply to those she accuses of unfairness.

Were they to do so, they might well have had an even better story. Who knows, they might even get her to answer Three Questions and then follow up the answers?

Perhaps what is needed is a journalist who posts on PPrune and has contacts in the profession?...... :ok:

Mike Flynn 30th Oct 2018 21:50

Point taken Jon and with several months ahead of me in a warm climate I have plans to ensure the one sided publicity is redressed as both balanced and indeed fair.

Steve Slater has confirmed the LAA received her letter of resignation so hopefully that chapter is now closed.

In the meantime can I just acknowledge and give you credit for your time on here and indeed your charitable work with Project Propellor.

Jonzarno 31st Oct 2018 06:12


Thanks for your kind words about PP, which is some of the most worthwhile flying that anyone can do.

They have caused me to think in what is perhaps a bit of a mischievous way about feats of navigation and the context in which they are achieved. With my tongue somewhat embedded in my cheek: as the Navigation Award now seems to need a new recipient, and although I am not a member of the LAA, perhaps I might propose one?

I have just heard that the 97 year old Pathfinder Force navigator that I have been flying to commemoration events for a few years is now too unwell to make the flight from Cornwall to Doncaster for the Remembrance Day Service this year. The last time we flew together, he made it into my aircraft, despite being wheelchair-bound most of the time, because he has no other way of getting to the events paying tribute to his comrades and was determined to do so regardless.

Basis for the award? Of course it might be necessary to stretch the definition of a “Light Aircraft” a bit: but after having navigated a Lancaster for 30 missions he then transferred to the PFF and a Mosquito (which is light compared to a Lanc! :O) for 35 missions with no GPS, radio aids that were being jammed, using star sights a lot of the time, at night and with people shooting at him. Of course he wouldn’t claim to have been solo having had the benefit of a very good pilot actually flying the aircraft.

But nonetheless, that really is navigation and puts the aids we use routinely today into context.

Edit: Oh, and by the way: he was only entitled to wear a single RAF wing. That is along with his DFC, DFM and campaign medals.

Pilot DAR 31st Oct 2018 13:28

I knew a Pathfinder Mosquito pilot, I spoke with him just a coupled of years ago. I am endlessly impressed with the piloting and in particular navigation skills demonstrated by these pilots. It is inspirational!

ACW599 31st Oct 2018 19:08

I have often wondered how on earth the pilots of Lysanders and Hudsons whose task was to collect and deliver agents from and to occupied France during World War II coped with navigation. Flying over a total blackout looking for a single field somewhere in France lit by a few torches always strikes me as an occupation for superheroes, especially since they could never have known exactly what reception awaited them.

You also have to hand it to the ATA pilots. Imagine coping with a lengthy trip in lousy weather in a fast and unfamiliar aircraft with no navaids and doing it day in and day out.

strake 31st Oct 2018 19:18

I have often wondered how on earth the pilots of Lysanders and Hudsons whose task was to collect and deliver agents from and to occupied France during World War II coped with navigation.
I too also wondered similarly. This is an excerpt from Wikipedia that just boggles the mind...:

'The special duties squadrons had to recruit and train pilots for their command. Being a secret organization, recruitment was a problem. Some pilots were drawn to the SD squadrons by personal contacts, others by the pilot's own experience in escaping from the continent. All of them had an "Above Average" pilot rating. Many had also qualified as navigators. Self-reliance in navigation was an important quality for the SD pilots. Many judged it a more essential skill for a successful SD pilot than piloting the aircraft itself.[19] A pilot had to fly in the dark of night over enemy occupied territory, frequently in weather that grounded other squadrons, and navigate by himself to a small dark field in the middle of France.[19] Pilots had to be self-reliant, capable of thinking and acting on their own.[20] Hugh Verity wrote a set of instructions for the Lysander pilots in A Flight of 161 Squadron.[21] These were guides offered from an experienced Lysander pilot to the novitiate, but were more helpful tips rather than a set of hard fast rules.[22] 161 Squadron did not have rigid rules they followed, as conditions and obstacles such as bad weather, low cloud and fog, boggy landing fields, or possible enemy action were too variable. As 161 Squadron commander Charles Pickard often remarked: "There's always bloody something!"[23]
It took about a month for a pilot to complete the training and for the commanding officer to determine if the pilot would be able to do the job.[24] Training required the pilot to be extremely comfortable with the layout of the aircraft's controls. He had to learn how to work out a course to his target and back. The course set was made up of a string of pinpoints, navigational terrain features which were identifiable and whose location was sure. The course was a 50 mile wide corridor designed to avoid German flak emplacements. On his trip the pilot flew from pinpoint to pinpoint, staying in the corridor defined till he reached the target area. He would practice this by flying by navigation alone over England by day, without making use of the radio to ask for a homing bearing, flying from navigation point to navigation point. The flights would be repeated at night. Next they practiced night time landings and take offs from a grass field. This training was done at "RAF Somersham", a "dummy" airfield near RAF Tempsford initially used as a decoy during the Blitz. It was later put to use by the RAF and the SOE for training of agent operators and Lysander pilots, as the rough field approximated a typical landing ground in occupied France.[25]
The final test for a Lysander pilot was to navigate over the continent through a corridor free of flak to a pinpoint target in France south of Saumur. The target was described to the pilot as a light. When the pilot arrived over the target he found a brilliantly lit rectangle.[26] It was in fact a prison camp, whose bright lighting of the fence wire made it a "pinpoint" of uniquely brilliant quality. When the pilot returned and reported on this astonishing target he confirmed he had made it there and was made operational

Jonzarno 31st Oct 2018 19:43

Truly remarkable flying!

Alongside that, one of the WW2 veterans I have flown a number of times was a flight engineer on Halifaxes in 192 Squadron who were part of 100 Group the electronic warfare branch of the RAF.

Their philosophy was: “ Even when the sparrows are walking, we fly!”

Jonzarno 31st Oct 2018 19:55

Originally Posted by Pilot DAR (Post 10297770)
I knew a Pathfinder Mosquito pilot, I spoke with him just a coupled of years ago. I am endlessly impressed with the piloting and in particular navigation skills demonstrated by these pilots. It is inspirational!

Quite right! Especially as the effectiveness of the entire raid, involving perhaps 1000 aircraft, depended on the accuracy of the marking done by a few Pathfinders navigating by DR and star sights.

And yet, I have yet to meet a former Pathfinder who claimed that what he did was in any way remarkable. For some reason, that strikes me as something of a contrast with the basis for some recent “awards”......

Clare Prop 1st Nov 2018 01:56

My uncle used to navigate by the moon to land in paddocks with just three torches on the ground behind enemy lines.
Like so many of his generation he was very humble about it all and earned every medal he was awarded.

Mike Flynn 2nd Nov 2018 16:46

It appears to me that this thread has run its course.

LAA chief executive Steve Slater told me that following the AGM vote, where Tracey Curtis Taylor argued and lost the restoration of the Bill Woodham Navigation Award she has resigned from the Light Aircraft Association.

Can I suggest we start a new thread for further discussion outside of the LAA?

B70 2nd Nov 2018 20:06

"Can I suggest we start a new thread for further discussion outside of the LAA?"

Maybe just keep the 'Merged threads' open ......... TC-T is bound to show up again somewhere. :rolleyes:

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