After a flying career spanning 30 years, on Friday First Officer Ed Naused landed a Cayman Airways jet for the last time.
After touching down on CAL flight 103 at Owen Roberts International Airport Friday afternoon, he was given the traditional farewell gesture to a retiring pilot when two Cayman Islands Fire Service trucks delivered a water cannon salute.
Fellow pilots, flight attendents, airport staff, family members and others gathered on the tarmac both to welcome Mr. Naused home and to say goodbye.
Mr. Naused admitted that he would miss flying.
“I didn’t look forward to the fact [that], as a flyer, I would have to put away my feathers and fold the wings. It is a rollercoaster ride of emotions. It is nice to get to this point, but at the same time, pilots only fly for one reason, and that is because they love flying. Having to give that up is a bitter pill to swallow,” he said.
For now, he plans to relax and spend time with his family, but in the near future, he hopes to return to the cockpit as a flight simulator instructor or by carrying out some business-related flying.
His first flying lesson came when he was just 14 years old, in a small Aeronca Champ, with a wooden Pepsi crate propping him forward so he could reach the rudder pedals. He went on to serve in the United States Airforce and later flew with National Jets and Consolidated Caribbean Inc. In 1988, he was hired by Chief Pilot Robert Hamaty for Boeing 727 flight engineer training at Eastern Airlines. After graduation, he served Cayman Airways as an engineer for four years, then two years as a Boeing 727 first officer, and then another 24 years as first officer on Boeing 737-200s, 300s and 400s. Over his three decades as a pilot with Cayman Airways, he logged more than 18,000 flight hours.
Mr. Naused, whose mother Ivilie Bodden was born in Cayman, traces his family’s aviation roots back to 1931, when his great uncle William Parsons accompanied famed aviator Charles Lindbergh on the inaugural flight of Pan-American Airways’ new American Clipper seaplane, out of Miami’s Dinner Key airport to Kingston, Jamaica.