Last week, Vistair had the pleasure of being joined by ‘Bird in a Biplane’ adventurer and aviatrix, Tracey Curtis-Taylor, who shared not only some inspirational flying experiences but also her campaign to promote women in aviation.
Following a highly unusual route into aviation via Cumbria, Canada and New Zealand in 2016, Tracey embarked on a 13,000-mile flight over 23 countries from Britain to Australia in a vintage open cockpit bi-plane. Her journey, both honouring the early women pioneers in aviation and actively promoting the involvement of women in all aspects of aviation, was truly inspiring to the whole Vistair team.
The mammoth expedition stretched over three months where she set off in a Boeing Stearman plane from Farnborough to Hampshire. She retraced pioneer Amy Johnson's 1930 flight, across Europe and the Mediterranean to Jordan, over the Arabian desert, Gulf of Oman to Pakistan, India, and Asia- making 50 refuelling stops along the way.
Tracey, who grew up in New England, Canada developed a passion for flight, following her first flying lesson at the age of 16. She returned to England with her family in the 1970s but the ‘call of the wild’ and an ongoing passion for adventure made Tracey cut the rope on her conventional life in England. She moved to New Zealand in the 1980s where she was able to fly more regularly and her passion for vintage planes grew.
Alongside pursuing her interests in aviation, Tracey has committed a lot of her time in supporting related causes and organisations including the support for women in restricted societies and inspiring the next generation of aviators. Tracey’s recognition of those brave female aviators throughout history spoke volumes for the way the aviation sector should start to re-balance the opportunities for female flying.
As Tracey believes: “We simply need to keep giving young women the opportunity and encouraging them to make brave, independent choices. Hopefully, high-profile examples of women excelling and succeeding in aviation can help drive the number of ladies who take to the skies.”
With sponsorship from key aviation players such as Boeing and Inmarsat, Tracey’s credibility in the aviation industry is to be admired and her infectious passion for aviation is something that certainly resonated with the team.
Ian Herbert, CEO, Vistair comments: “Listening to Tracey was wonderful and her campaign to encourage more women in aviation is something I very much admire. Equally, I do believe her message is one of stretching boundaries and taking steps that you wouldn’t normally do. Overcoming fears to really succeed in life.”
For more information about Tracey’s adventures take a look at her website: http://www.birdinabiplane.com