& Bullets

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Brize 2010 Reds 3

A letter

By psmiddy, Oct 23 2018 06:55AM

of mine was published in the Times today. Sadly they chose to edit it heavily, severely inhibiting its thrust. The full text is below:


It is perhaps unsurprising, given her previous statements to the Times, that Ms Curtis-Taylor has now accused the members of the Light Aircraft Association as being “out of date misogynists” (Times 22 October). The demographic profile of the LAA is indeed old(er), male, and no doubt in her view, stale. However it simply reflects the demographics of those who have the time, skill and inclination to build and/or maintain their own aeroplanes.

From its earliest days aviation has had little truck with sexism. Sir Sefton Brancker, once elevated to become Director of Civil Aviation in 1922, made it one of his missions to promote women aviators – to the benefit of, inter alia, Winifred Spooner, Amy Johnson, and the Hon. Mrs Victor Bruce (the last being the subject of my biography). Nowadays the flight decks of most Western airlines have an increasing proportion of female aircrew. None of the aviation organisations to which I belong (and I attended the LAA AGM) - including those in which I am involved in their governance (the Royal Aero Club, and the Honourable Company of Air Pilots) - tolerate misogyny. The British Women’s Pilots Association is thriving, as I believe are other women pilots’ groups such as the 99ers.

I am continually amazed at the difficult, and in some cases courageous, flights quietly carried out by pilots (of both sexes) around the world, without blowing their own trumpet. It is regrettable that this case is not one such.

Yours Faithfully,

Paul Smiddy

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