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Thursday, November 07, 2013

Cape Town to Goodwood Day 5: Bulawayo


* Lots of good pics and info on the flight so far at http://avcom.co.za/phpBB3/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=123713&start=120
From Facebook: "Team arrived safely in Zimbabwe last night after a tense few days waiting in Botswana for all the filming permissions to come through. Finally made Bulawayo to an amazing reception from The Classic Club."
Mary Heath had set off at 7.30am on February 25, 1928 heading for Bulawayo 400 miles away and carrying  42 gallons of petrol. She flew at 8,000 ft above the "great quartz hills of the Matoppas" before  her forced landing due to sunstroke after which she lay unconscious for four hours before her rescue by "three native girls" who were "wonderfully intelligent and anxious to help"; one of them, Makula, spoke a little English.  They thought it a tremendous joke. "I should think it would lend them conversation in the native reserve for some several generations."
Next stop Lady Heath made was in Livingstone, Zambia - and the nearest town to the Victoria Falls or "Smoke Falls".  She had a pleasant and interesting journey of 3 hours 15 minutes, flying between two rainstorms at Umgassa river and later spotting her first game - a small band of eland and later two rhino.The afternoon was spent "in engine work".
So what is Tracey Curtis-Taylor carrying in the Spirit of Artemis?
At the ExecuJet HQ in Cape Town before take off, lots of negotiations were taking place, with boxes and equipment being swapped between the two planes. Tracey can carry just 15kg in hers; the chase plane, a Cessna Caravan,  can obviously carry more, but is also limited.
Unlike Lady Heath all those years ago, Tracey will not be carrying a tennis racquet, shot gun, or  morphine in case of a crash landing. She will certainly carry a change of clothes, some food, a book or two, and maybe even a party dress!
Then there are her three mascots - an elephant, leopard (or maybe it's a giraffe?) and lion. "And I hope to get two more along the way!" she says. 

2 comments:

Jay Sata said...

This is not a solo flight. All the airborne pictures en-route show two pilots in the aeroplane.

Lindie Naughton said...

Thanks for your comment. Any picture I've looked at shows only one. I saw Tracey take off myself in Cape Town and she was the only one in the plane. Though I know she did have company occasionally - unlike the flyers of the 1920s such as Mary Heath. Tracey also had a mechanic, a logistics chappie and a camera crew; just like most modern "adventurers". Changed world.