England

Pilot Tracey Curtis-Taylor 'inspired by pioneering female pilots'

Tracey Curtis-Taylor Image copyright Tracey Curtis-Taylor
Image caption Tracey Curtis-Taylor is particularly inspired by pioneering female pilots of the early 20th Century

UK pilot Tracey Curtis-Taylor has had to halt her bid to fly across the USA after her vintage biplane crashed in the Arizona desert.

The transcontinental flight from Seattle to Boston was part of her bid to circumnavigation the world in an open cockpit craft.

The 54-year-old adventurer, who calls herself "Bird in a Biplane", has already flown from the UK to Australia and Cape Town to Goodwood in her 1942 Boeing Stearman.

Ms Curtis-Taylor, born in Stamford in Lincolnshire, said she was "always interested" in flight because it is such a "fascinating thing".

Her first memories of aviation were of being taken to air shows by her journalist father while she was growing up in Canada.

The 1965 film Those Magnificent Men in their Flying Machine sparked her interest in the early years of flight.

Image copyright PA
Image caption Amy Johnson was the first woman to fly solo from England to Australia in 1930

'Absolutely addictive'

Ms Curtis-Taylor is particularly inspired by pioneering female aviators such as Amy Johnson and Lady Mary Heath, recreating their flights from the UK to Australia and South Africa.

After she completed her trip to Australia, she described the flying as "sensational" and said the open cockpit biplane had given her an "insight" into what Ms Johnson went through.

"To fly something like this, low level, halfway around the world seeing all the most iconic landscapes, geology, vegetation - it's just the best view in the world," she added.

When she was asked about flying, Ms Curtis-Taylor, who is now based at Goodwood in West Sussex, replied: "You never want to stop, it is absolutely addictive, it is so thrilling and exciting."

Image copyright Tracey Curtis-Taylor
Image caption Ms Curtis-Taylor flew across 23 countries during the UK to Australia tip, including Myanmar

Image copyright Tracey Curtis-Taylor

Timeline of endeavours

1982 - drove from Johannesburg to London in a Bedford truck.

2007 - took park in the Peking to Paris vintage and classic car rally.

2013 - flew from Kiev to Cape Town in an Antonov 2 aircraft.

2013 - inspired by Lady Mary Heath's exploits, she flew from Cape Town to Goodwood in her 1942 Boeing Stearman Spirit of Artemis biplane.

2015 - in October she started her attempt to recreate Amy Johnson's flight from the UK to Australia.

2016 - landed in Sydney in January, completing the 14,600- nautical mile trip.

2016 - a crash in the Arizona desert halted her bid to fly across the USA.


Related Topics

More on this story