18 May 1966: Sheila Scott, OBE, (née Sheila Christine Hopkins) departed London Heathrow Airport, London, England, on the first solo around-the-world flight by a British subject, the longest-distance solo flight, and only the third around-the-world flight by a woman. Her airplane was a 1966 Piper PA-24-260B Comanche, registration G-ATOY, which she had named Myth Two.
Sheila Scott had been a nurse at Haslar Naval Hospital during World War II. She was an actress on the stage, in films and on television. In 1959 she followed a lifetime ambition and learned to fly. She owned or leased several airplanes which she entered in races or used to establish flight records.
She was a commercial pilot, rated in single and multi-engine airplanes, seaplanes and helicopters. She was a member of The 99s, founding and serving as governor of the British branch. She was also a member of the Whirly-Girls and the International Association of Licensed Women Pilots. She was the author of I Must Fly and On Top of the World (Barefoot With Wings in the United States).
Departed London, England 18 May 1966
Mount Isa, Australia
Auckland, New Zealand
Pago Pago, Samoa
San Francisco, CA
El Paso, TX
Oklahoma City, OK
New York, NY
Arrived London, England 20 June 1966
The flight covered approximately 31,000 miles (49,889.6 kilometers) and took 189 flight hours over 34 days.
For her accomplishments, Ms. Scott was awarded the Silver Medal of the Guild of Pilots; the Brabazon of Tara Award for 1965, 1966 and 1967; the Britannia Trophy of the Royal Aero Club of the United Kingdom, 1968; and the Harmon International Trophy for 1966. Italy gave her the title, Isabella d’Este. In 1968, Sheila Scott was made an Officer of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire.
Sheila Scott flew around the world twice in Myth Too, and a third time in a twin-engine Piper Aztec, Mythre. She set 100 official flight records. She died of cancer at the age of 61 years.
Myth Too was built by the Piper Aircraft Corporation in 1966, and was registered N8893P. It was a PA-24-260B Comanche, an all-metal 4–6 place single engine low-wing monoplane with retractable tricycle landing gear. It is flown by a single pilot and can carry three passengers, though an additional two seats can be mounted at the rear of the passenger cabin. The airplane is 25 feet, 6 inches (7.772 meters) long with a wingspan of 36 feet (10.973 meters). Empty weight is 1,728 pounds (783.8 kilograms) and maximum gross weight is 3,100 pounds (1,406.1 kilograms). The Comanche B is powered by a 541.5-cubic-inch-displacement (8.87 liter) air-cooled, fuel-injected Lycoming IO-540-D4A5 6-cylinder horizontally-opposed engine, producing 260 horsepower and driving a two-bladed constant speed propeller. Cruise speed is 185 miles per hour (297.7 kilometers per hour). The range is 1,225 miles (1,971.5 kilometers) and the service ceiling is 19,500 feet (5,943.6 meters).
Sheila Scott sold G-ATOY in 1975. It was substantially damaged 6 March 1979 when the engine lost oil pressure then seized after taking off from Elstree, Hertfordshire. There were no injuries. The wreck is in the collection of the Scottish National Museum of Flight, East Fortune, East Lothian, Scotland.
© 2015, Bryan R. Swopesby