9 Jan 2016

Epic bi-plane flight from UK to Australia

9:33 pm on 9 January 2016

A British adventurer has arrived in Australia, having completed an epic 20,900 kilometre solo flight from the UK in a vintage open cockpit bi-plane.

Tracey Curtis-Taylor on her arrival at Sydney International Airport.

Tracey Curtis-Taylor on her arrival at Sydney International Airport. Photo: AFP

Tracey Curtis-Taylor, 53, set off in her 1942 Boeing Stearman Spirit of Artemis aircraft from Farnborough, Hampshire, in October.

She retraced pioneer Amy Johnson's 1930 flight, flying over 23 countries and making some 50 refuelling stops.

After landing in Sydney she tweeted it was the end of a "huge adventure".

Ms Curtis-Taylor - the self-styled "Bird in a Biplane" - also thanked "everyone who supported me".

'Best adventure'

Speaking to the AFP news agency after her three-month journey, Ms Curtis-Taylor joked that she needed "a drink".

She admitted she had "lost my rag several times dealing with people on the ground" during frequent refuelling stops, but added: "The flying has been sensational and that's why you do it.

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

"It's the best adventure in the world."

Flying the open cockpit biplane had given her an "insight" into what Ms Johnson went through getting to Australia, she added.

Her route had taken her across Europe and the Mediterranean to Jordan, over the Arabian desert, across the Gulf of Oman to Pakistan, India and across Asia.

Ms Curtis-Taylor attempted to recreate the essence of Ms Johnson's era by flying with an open cockpit, with basic period instruments and a short range between landing points.