First lady of aviation’s outstanding feat replicated by young female pilot

For those who don’t know who Lady Mary Heath is, she was the first pilot of either sex who flew solo in a small biplane with an open top from Cape Town all the way to Sussex  in 1928. As you can image, this news made the headlines around the world and the life and times of this first lady of aviation is being commemorated in style.

Tracey Curtis-Taylor aims to emulate the feat of Lady Mary and took off from Cape Town on the 1st November in a Boeing Stearman, another open cockpit biplane. She is aiming to arrive at Goodwood on the 18th December where there is sure to be a grand celebration for a 2013 re-enactment of an extraordinary feat.

Not for the faint-hearted, flying in an open cockpit, exposed to the elements, represents a formidable physical and logistical challenge in a plane designed in the 1930s, with a top speed of 95 mph, an operating ceiling of 10,000 feet and a range of only 450 miles. But this sort of extreme flying is what Curtis-Taylor has been doing all her working life.

“The cockpit and wings of Tracey’s biplane will be fitted with cameras, and she will be followed by a film crew in a chase plane”, said Annette Porter of Nylon Films whose company is passionate about making films by and about women. “The footage that captures the achingly beautiful scenery, the inevitable surprising challenges and moments of high emotion that come from an adventure of this sort, augmented by a cache of archive footage of early female pilots (including Lady Heath),  will form the basis of an exciting documentary film which will be edited early next year.”

Footage will be captured by a camera crew located in the chase plane with help from sponsors Livewire Digital, Inmarsat, Boeing, ExecuJet and Artemis. Livewire Digital’s M-Link solution for store and forward and real-time delivery of live video and audio over any IP circuit, will be used to capture the excitement as it unfolds. In a unique innovation, live video and audio will be delivered to broadcasters via Inmarsat’s new BGAN HDR service. The higher streaming rate service enables high-quality live video to be transmitted globally via a small, lightweight and highly compact terminal that can fit in a backpack.

Edited video and stills will also be delivered over BGAN HDR to feed the vital social media campaign and broadcasters interested in the unfolding story. iPhones equipped with Livewire Digital’s newly launched NetCaster app – winner of TVB Europe’s Best in Show Award at the recent IBC 2013 –  will be used by members of the team to take part in live multi-party interviews, and send in real-time photos, sequences of stills and video directly to the producer. This feed can be streamed live to the internet w here members of the public interested in following the journey can log on and watch the action as it unfolds.

Concluding, Annette Porter, Nylon Films, said, “ Producing both short and long form documentary films has contributed to a unique combination of storytelling skills and the ability to convey key messages in compact and memorable ways.  We know how to get the best out of contributors so that content is emotional, relevant and impactful and how to craft that content in visually exciting and creative ways. We are really thrilled about the prospect of using the technology kindly donated by sponsors Livewire Digital and Inmarsat. It will play a significant role in helping us to achieve an ongoing communication with our audience.”