This day in 1971 saw the start of a 34.000 mile (54.700 km) flight.
Sheila Scott set off alone in her Piper Aztec D for an equator to equator flight over the north pole!
Sheila Scott on the wing of her Piper Aztec
Sheilla Scott was born on the 27th of April 1922 in Worcester England as Sheila Christine Hopkins.
During her flying career, she would break over 100 (one hundred !!) light aircraft flying records, in a 7 year period (1965 - 1972). She was also the first British woman to fly solo around the world. Before becoming a record-breaking aviator she became a trainee nurse in a British Naval Hospital in 1944 tending to the wounded of World War II. After the war, an acting and modelling career kept her busy till 1959.
After obtaining her pilots' license she bought an old RAF biplane (a Thruxton Jackaroo, a four-seat biplane converted from a de Havilland Tiger Moth). In this aircraft she would capture several trophies in the 1959-1960 period.
To support her flying she worked as a demonstrator pilot for Cessna and Piper.
A Thruxton Jackaroo (not Sheila Scott's aircraft)
In 1966 she bought a Piper Commanche 260B, G-ATOY which she named "Myth Too". (6 seat aircraft with a range of around 1200 miles, (~2000 km) with a cruise speed of 185 miles (161 knots). With a service ceiling of 19.500 ft. With auxiliary tanks
It is with this aircraft she set 90 (Ninety !!) world records.
A Piper Commanche 260
(not Sheila Scott's aircraft)
Here is a summary of some of these records:
18th of May 1966 to 20th of June 1966, her first solo around the world 189 hours of flying in 34 days, covering a distance of 31.000 miles (just short of 50.000 km)
1967, London to Capetown
1967, North Atlantic Crossing
1969, South Atlantic Crossing
1969 - 1970, Second solo around the world
1971, equator to equator over the North Pole
1971, third solo around the world This was her 100th world record in aviation!
Sadly the aircraft got damaged beyond repair after it was caught in a flood at the Piper factory. Sheila Scott passed away at the age of 66 after a long battle with lung cancer.