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Carolyn Grace dying: Britain’s only woman Spitfire pilot is killed in motor vehicle crash aged 70


Britain’s only woman Spitfire pilot has been killed in a vehicle crash though on getaway in Australia, 34 yrs right after her partner experienced the identical destiny.

Carolyn Grace, 70, who life in Cornwall, was driving her Suziki automobile in the city of Goulbourn, southwest of Sydney, when she collided with a silver Hilux on Friday.

Carolyn, believed to have been the only practising female Spitfire pilot in the environment, was visiting her household in Australia at the time of the crash. 

Carolyn, initially from Australia, was airlifted to hospital but died of her injuries, 34 decades immediately after her husband, Nick, was killed in a automobile crash in Sussex, Uk, in 1988.

Carolyn Grace, 70, who lives in Cornwall, was driving her Suziki vehicle in the city of Goulbourn, southwest of Sydney, when she collided with a silver Hilux on Friday. Pictured: Carolyn with her spitfire at South airport in 2011

Carolyn Grace is pictured here with her Spitfire. She pioneered the restoration of World War Two Spitfires in the 1980s with her late husband, Nick, from their home in Cornwall

Carolyn Grace is pictured in this article with her Spitfire. She pioneered the restoration of Entire world War Two Spitfires in the 1980s with her late spouse, Nick, from their residence in Cornwall

Her 38-12 months-aged son Richard was a passenger in the vehicle and survived the crash and was dealt with for minimal accidents.

Carolyn’s daughter, Daisy Grace, stated the relatives had been left ‘traumatised’ by her unpredicted demise.

Mrs Grace pioneered the restoration of Second Entire world Spitfires in the 1980s with her late partner, Nick, at their dwelling in Cornwall. 

Immediately after Nick died in 1988, the mother-of-two realized to fly the restored plane to maintain her husband’s memory alive.

In excess of the upcoming three decades, the aviation pioneer clocked in excess of 900 hrs in the plane, flying it at air demonstrates and memorial events throughout Europe.

While additional than 20,000 Spitfires had been produced soon before, throughout and just after the Next World War, the Spitfire ML407, acknowledged as the ‘Grace Spitfire’, is a single of only a handful to survive right now. 

And it is all the far more distinctive as it was the initial Allied aircraft to shoot down an enemy aircraft previously mentioned the Normandy beach locations on D-Working day.

Carolyn’s young children, Richard and Daisy, assisted her run their Spitfire restoration company, Air Leasing Constrained in Northamptonshire. 

Subsequent the fatal crash in New South Wales, Daisy reported: ‘It is with fantastic disappointment that we have to announce that Carolyn Grace has been killed in a vehicle accident on Friday.

‘This is a traumatic, and unexpected, decline to all of us.’

Carolyn’s loss of life has sparked tributes from hundreds of aviation fans and institutions describing her as an ‘inspirational woman’ and a ‘legend of the sky’.

Carolyn Grace, the world's only woman Spitfire pilot, in the aircraft that survivied 176 wartime missions in 2004

Carolyn Grace, the world’s only female Spitfire pilot, in the aircraft that survivied 176 wartime missions in 2004 

Andy Saunders, a Fight of Britain historian, mentioned: ‘With her husband Nick, Carolyn Grace was the to start with pioneers of Spitfire restoration in Britain.

‘It is a tragic irony that she has died in a auto crash, just as Nick experienced died in 1988.

‘It is awful news. Her demise is a huge reduction to the planet of historic aviation.’

A spokesman for the Kent Battle of Britain Museum mentioned: ‘For this tragedy to occur twice is over and above words. Our thoughts and prayers are with Daisy and Richard.’

Dale Leeks, a Spitfire fanatic, explained: ‘I’m very unfortunate to listen to of the demise of Carolyn Grace. She was a legend of the skies and a major component of the appreciate our family members have for the Spitfire.

‘When I selected to get my dad a flight in a Spitfire there was no choice for me – it had to be your one’.

Carolyn turned planet renowned as she became Britain’s only feminine Spitfire pilot.

Her enthusiasm for the airplane stems from her late husband Nick, who bought the aircraft, which demanded a whole rebuild, from a Scottish museum in 1979. 

A layout engineer and pilot, Nick established about painstakingly restoring it at St Merryn airfield in Cornwall, a course of action that took much more than five several years.

But tragedy struck prior to their dreams could be realised when Nick was killed in a vehicle accident in 1988, just three several years immediately after getting the Spitfire airborne once more.

Although she was previously a certified pilot, she took the intrepid conclusion to coach as a Spitfire pilot, to the shock of a lot of. She is the to start with woman to have performed so since the ladies of the Air Transportation Auxiliary (ATA) services in the Second World War.

A spokesman for the Hume Police District in New South Wales, explained: ‘A female has died and her passenger wounded in a two vehicle crash at Goulburn.

‘The crash took place at 6pm on Friday 2 December 2022, when a grey Suzuki and a silver Hilux collided on Center Arm Road.

‘Officers from The Hume Law enforcement District attended and observed a 70-year-previous girl driving the Suzuki experienced suffered vital injuries. She was airlifted to The Canberra Medical center in which she later on died.

‘Her passenger, a 38-yr-aged gentleman, was taken to the exact same hospital with slight accidents.

‘Two guys in the Hilux, aged 44 and 30, had been not hurt.

‘The older person, who was driving, was taken to Goulburn Clinic for obligatory screening. Inquiries are continuing’.

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