Tracey Curtis-Taylor was born in England but raised in British Columbia, Canada, until the age of ten when the family returned to the UK in the early 1970's. Tracey had her first flying lesson at the age of sixteen on a holiday to Canada and continued with her flying after she emigrated to New Zealand in 1983. Over the next six years she gained her private and commercial pilot's licences and qualified as a flying instructor. She joined the New Zealand Warbird Association and was trained by military pilots to fly WW2 training aircraft. But her real passion was the early bi-planes and open-cockpit flying, and a defining moment was when she bought a share in a replica WW1 single-seat fighter, the iconic Se5a, which famously fought against the Red Baron in his Fokker Triplane.