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Former Appleby woman completes bi-plane flight to Australia

Tracey Curtis-Taylor arriving in Sydney Credit: ITV News

A woman, who grew up in Cumbria, has touched down in Australia after a 13,000 mile flight in a vintage bi-plane.

Tracey Curtis-Taylor was recreating the journey made by the British adventurer Amy Johnson, who became the first woman to fly solo from Britain to Australia in 1930.

She said she was "euphoric" at completing her "huge adventure"

Tracey, who spent most of her teenage years in Appleby, set off in a 1942 Boeing Stearman Spirit of Artemis aircraft from Farnborough, Hampshire, in October.

She flew across 23 countries, making 50 refuelling stops over the course of three months, and has now arrived at Sydney Airport.

She posted on Facebook: "Finished Sydney Airport! End of huge adventure, thank you everyone who supported me."

She said Johnson had been a great inspiration to her throughout the journey:

"You can't do this without a great sense of empathy and sympathy for what she went through, what she achieved is so brilliant.

"I just take my hat off to what she pushed herself to, right on the limits of endurance. She was on the verge of nervous exhaustion when she finished, it's an astonishing survival story, all done by a slip of a girl at the age of 26 with little flying experience.

"This generation needs to know what the pioneers achieved and how they resolved to break the records."

She recreated the essence of Johnson's era of flying with an open cockpit, stick and rudder flying with basic period instruments and a short range between landing points.

She said the highlights of her journey included flying over the Dead Sea, the deserts of Arabia, the mountains of Burma and the coastline of Thailand.


Scotland announce team to face Australia

Scotland have announced their team for the Rugby World Cup clash with Australia.

Greig Laidlaw will captain the side, while Stuart Hogg also keeps his place.

But fellow Borderer Ross Ford has been banned for a dangerous tackle against Samoa:

Police in Australia 'We have a responsibility to the families to find out what happened to these women'

There's fresh hope that the mystery of the disappearance of a Cumbrian woman 15 years ago may finally be solved. Celena Bridge vanished while backpacking in Australia in 1998. It's believed she was murdered.

Last year, the investigation into her disappearance was reopened and police say they're following new leads. Hannah McNulty reports


New information about the disappearance of Celena Bridge

Police are following new leads about the disappearance of a Cumbrian backpacker in Australia 15 years ago. Celena Bridge who lived near Ainstable in the Eden Valley vanished in Queensland in 1998. She'd been travelling alone and was due to meet her fiance at the airport but never arrived.

Celena bridge from Cumbria vanished 15 years ago in Australia Credit: Queensland Police

Police believe her disappearance is linked to the disappearance of another backpacker and the murder of a 15 year old schoolgirl. Detectives have been speaking to witnesses again and told ITV News they have a 'responsibility to the families of the women to find out what happened to them.'