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An epic adventurer flight mission in Sydney


The British pilot landed in Sydney to applause and applause, completing a 21,000 km journey in his old open cockpit Boeing Stearman Spirit of Artemis 1942.

“What a relief. It’s the end point of a huge epic journey that took more than you can imagine,” she said at Sydney Airport on Saturday.

“I need a drink. And I need a barber. “

The 53-year-old pilot has flown through 23 countries, making about 50 refuelings since she left Farnborough, Hampshire on Oct. 1.

The adventurer’s mission was to emulate the pioneer of British pilot Amy Johnson, who became the first woman to fly independently from Britain to Australia in 1930.

Ms. Curtis-Taylor’s route took her through Europe and the Mediterranean to Jordan, through the Arabian Desert, through the Gulf of Oman to Pakistan, India and Asia.

Facing the deadly weather and navigating airway policy were the hardest parts of the trip, she said.

“Flying in the heavy rain, a low cloud on deck … it was a deadly trap that killed many airline pilots. So I turned around and went back,” she said of one leg near Bucharest.

But the highlights far outweighed the disappointments.

In Australia Ms. Curtis-Taylor stayed in Darwin, Tennant Creek, Alice Springs and Uluru in the Northern Territory, Udnadat in South Australia, and Broken Hill in New South Wales.

Being mesmerized by Ayers Rock, she was praised for her six best moments, which included a flight on the Dead Sea in Israel in a group with Israeli military pilot F16.

“It was weird,” she said.

The trip, sponsored by Boeing, coincided with the celebration of its centenary.

“Tracy’s flight is a great reminder of how far aviation has come and the role women have played since the early days of the flight,” said Maureen Dougherty, president of Boeing Australia and South Pacific.

Before the flight, Ms. Curtis-Taylor said in October: “All my life I have been moved by the achievements of pioneers like Amy Johnson.

“My own flight to Australia is the realization of a burning desire to fly my favorite Boeing Stearman in their footsteps,” she told the British news agency PA.

She reconstructed the era of Johnson’s flights with an open cockpit, stick and rudder flying with the main instruments of the period and a small distance between the landing points.

But this form of flight is not alien to her.

In 2013, she flew 13,000 km from Cape Town to Goodwood, West Sussex, to resume Lady Mary Heath’s 1928 flight.


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