This article first appeared in the July-August 1972 Flight Test News.

19215 Wallingford Ave. N.
Seattle, Washington 98144
The Seattle Chapter, SFTE, recently elected the following officers for 1972:
President – W. E. Fagerberg,
Vice President – W. S. Lieberman
Secretary/Treasurer – B. T. Cameron
According to the Seattle Chapter Bylaws, the Governing Board includes these officers and the immediate past President, Mr. H. B. Klopfenstein.

PO Box 57
California, MD 20619

Miss Shelia Scott, the renowned British aviatrix who holds over 100 aviation records for women, addressed the Patuxent River Chapter of the Society of Flight Test Engineers at a joint meeting with the Society of Engineers and Scientists on June 6. In an hour-long talk at the Cedar Point Officers’ Club, Miss Scott related the experiences of her record setting flight over the North Pole last summer. She flew from equator to equator over the Arctic Ocean in a twin-engine Piper Aztec, becoming the first woman to fly solo over the North Pole.

The former actress described how she had waited four years for funds and sponsors to make the polar flight. Finally after one sponsor backed out at the last minute, she got money on a loan to finance her twin-engine airplane. She then negotiated with the NASA Goddard Space Center to test some aircraft tracking equipment on her flight (in conjunction with the Naval Air Test Center).

Miss Scott told of the often grueling flight training she went through to learn how to survive in the freezing Arctic and quipped that because most flight gear was designed for men, her specially modified equipment for “calls of nature” in flight included “Tupperware.”

She discussed some of the problems in the actual flight, including control problems resulting from the initial overweight, out-of-cg-limit take-off; malfunctions in the landing gear retraction system which forced her to fly “wheels down” over the Arctic Ocean at a much slower speed and higher fuel consumption rate than planned; and exceedingly turbulent weather for one leg of the trip.

As she passed over what she hoped to be the North Pole she threw out the Union Jack for Britain and a Snoopy doll (her American pet) for the United States. It was not until she landed at Barter, Alaska that she learned from the NASA/NATC tracking team that she had indeed passed directly over the North Pole. From Alaska, she flew southward, to Australia, then flew from Australia to London in three and a half days.

Miss Scott started flying in 1959. She now holds both British and American licenses with commercial and instrument multi-engine ratings, seaplane and helicopter commercial ratings. She has flown gliders and jet aircraft. She has won over 50 trophies from racing events, the latest being the London to Australia Air Race 1969 Ford Women’s prize. She has been presented many awards, including the U.S.A.’s internationally famous Harmon Trophy (1967) for the world’s outstanding aviatrix and the British Britannia Trophy (1968) of the Royal Aero Club.

In commenting on her achievements, Miss Scott said the recognition and achievement of her record setting trips were “nice for a moment” when she stood on the wing and drank champagne and was handed roses. “But, it’s absolutely grim when I wake up the next day and realize my aim is now gone.”

Twenty members from the Patuxent River Chapter visited TRANSPO ’72 at
Dulles Airport, Washington, D.C. on June 1, 1972. Although this international exposition featured all types of transportation systems, an emphasis on aviation was apparent in the trade pavilions, static displays and product demonstration periods which preceded the afternoon air show.

The SFTE members were guests of North American Rockwell for the day. It was an opportune time to visit the exposition, since the morning events were closed to the general public.

On June 19, 1972, the Patuxent River Chapter of SFTE toured the Smithsonian Institution, National Air and Space Museum; Preservation, Restoration and Storage Division at Silver Hill, Maryland.

Twenty-seven members and guests including several wives, took advantage of this outstanding opportunity to see numerous aircraft of the past. Mr. Donald K. Merchant, chief of the division, gave the group enlightening facts and answered questions about the various aircraft during the walk around tour.

This tour provided the group an excellent opportunity to examine closely various aircraft of the past and have the novel design and operating features of these aircraft pointed out as well as the historical features.

This article first appeared in the July-August 1972 Flight Test News.

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