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First female pilot takes control of Tiger Moth at Steamfest

In exciting news for Burton Automotive Hunter Valley Steamfest, there will be a fresh face piloting the hugely popular Tiger Moth aeroplane that will go head to head with the two steam locos in Sunday’s Great Train Race.

Charlotte Zeederberg, who has been flying for 12 years, will be the first woman to take up the position of lead pilot at the festival and she’ll also be in with a real shot when it comes time for the big race.

Born in South Africa, Charlotte moved to Australia 10 years ago with her husband Brian, also an accomplished Tiger Moth pilot. The pair fly the vintage planes out of Luskintyre Airfield and Charlotte’s passion for flight resulted in her coming second in the Great Tiger Moth Air Race in 2014, in a field of 38 pilotss.

‘While they don’t go anywhere fast, they are still great fun to fly. They’re the Harley Davidsons of the sky. Phil Unicomb has done a great job as the pilot in the past and I hope to pick up where he left off. I’m just excited to try something completely different and that’s one of the things I love about flying, how things are never the same’.

Sunday’s Great Train Race will pit the Tiger Moth against locomotives 3642 and ‘The Garratt’ 6029 in a dash from Hanbury Junction to Maitland, with the event starting at approximately 10.20am.

‘In regards to me being the first female to do it, I guess I haven’t thought about that too much’, Charlotte says.

‘I’ve flown for so long with the guys in Luskintyre and I guess I consider myself no different to anyone else. I am just overjoyed to be asked to do this and it’s very exciting for me’

Along with the Great Train Race, 3642 and The Garratt will be running journeys over both days and they’ll be joined by the popular Tin Hare and the Red Rattler diesels.

There will also be an array of traction and portable engines, and antique machinery on the Rally Ground, hundreds of cars on display at Sunday’s Show ‘n’ Shine in Maitland Park, as well as entertainment across the weekend including, live music, amusement rides, kids’ activities, and more than 100 food and market stalls.

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