Curtis-Taylor completes key leg of epic tour
Tracey Curtis-Taylor successfully completed her United Kingdom to Australia flight on January 1, 2016, recreating a pioneering 1930 solo flight by Amy Johnson. Tracey departed Farnborough airport on October 1, 2015, on her solo flight in a 1942 Boeing Stearman named the Spirit of Artemis. The flight covered 13,000 miles, including 50 legs, crossing 23 countries.
January 6, 2016 By Women in Aviation International
“Tracey is a keynote speaker at the 2016 International Women in Aviation Conference March 10-12 in Nashville at the Friday morning general session, expected to be attended by nearly 4,500 participants. I know her presentation will be filled with all the excitement and adventure this flight entailed,” says WAI President Dr. Peggy Chabrian.
In conjunction with Tracey’s successful flight, Amy Johnson will be posthumously inducted into WAI’s International Pioneer Hall of Fame. Amy is perhaps Great Britain’s most well-known aviatrix and the setter of several flight records, including the London to Australia flight that Tracey replicated. She was the first woman to hold a ground engineer license in the UK; she made several record-setting long-distance flights, including a trans-Atlantic flight to the United States in 1933.
In 1940, Amy joined the Air Transport Auxiliary (ATA) and worked as a ferry pilot for the Royal Air Force, rising to the rank of First Officer. However, she became the first person in the ATA to be killed during active service, when an airplane she was ferrying in adverse weather ran out of fuel and she bailed out over the Thames Estuary.
In an interview published in the January issue of WAI’s Aviation for Women magazine, Tracey compared Amy Johnson to Amelia Earhart. Tracey stated, “Amelia and Amy were friends, struggling against a male establishment; they were struggling to become pilots and experience that vertical freedom that men enjoy.” Tracey believes neither one were superior pilots, but quickly adds, “What they lacked in ability, they more than made up for in courage.”
Tracey joins a lineup of fascinating speakers at the International Women in Aviation Conference including FAA Administrator Michael Huerta.