THE BEST wishes of Goodwood go with Tracey Curtis-Taylor, one of its pilots attempting to fly to Australia in a vintage open cockpit bi-plane.
Tracey, 53, a resident pilot at the Goodwood aerodrome, set off from Farnborough Airport today (October 1), following the 13,000-mile journey of pioneer Amy Johnson, who completed the flight in 1930.
“I spoke to Tracey yesterday to wish her the best,” said Goodwood aerodrome general manager Rob Wildeboer this afternoon. “We will be in contact throughout and we very much look forward to following her progress and very much look forward to seeing her safely back at Goodwood.”
Tracey completed a flight from Cape Town to Goodwood in 2013 in her Boeing Stearman bi-plane.
The original plan was for her to fly from Goodwood this time around. However, a last-minute change saw it switch to Farnborough. Work on a new clubhouse at the aerodrome meant she could not host the leaving event at Goodwood.
“It was something of a last minute decision, because we weren’t able to host it from here, but this is still very much her home,” said Rob.
“It was fantastic. We wish her all the best. She’s reliving a pioneering flight and she’s also quite an aviatrix in her own right. She’s absolutely passionate about flying and the plane means everything to her.
“She’s travelled thousands of miles in it from Cape Town to Goodwood. To see her embarking on this venture is quite a moment. It’s a huge trip and a huge undertaking. She’s not got a lot of equipment in that aeroplane and at the end of the day it’s a 1930s design.”
Her 2013 flight was 8,000 miles and emulated that of 1928 pilot Lady Mary Heath.
This time around, she is travelling to Australia via India and is expected to be back in the UK at the start of next year.
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