After 47 years in the cockpit, Capt. Dave Scott is hanging up his wings at Cayman Airways.
Captain Scott landed at Owen Roberts International Airport for the last time in his career Wednesday morning to the cheers of dozens of colleagues, family members and dignitaries.
The Cayman Islands Fire Service helped mark the occasion with a water cannon salute.
“It was very gratifying, especially to see so many fellow employees to greet me here on arrival,” Mr. Scott told the media after landing Cayman Airways’ newest aircraft, the Boeing 737-800.
The 65-year-old native of Spot Bay, Cayman Brac, has logged more than 25,000 hours of flying time since beginning his career in 1970 at the Wings Jamaica Flight Academy, where he underwent his flight training.
After working as a commercial pilot at Air Jamaica, Mr. Scott moved back to Cayman in 1978, where he started as first officer before rising to captain in 1980.
In his 39 years with Cayman Airways, Mr. Scott has flown all of the airline’s jets, including the BAC 1-11, Boeing 727 and four Boeing 737 models.
The aircraft he liked flying the most was the 727. “It was a very manual aircraft, not very automated, but very fast,” he said. “In that day, they were the best there was.”
Mr. Scott will retain his current position of vice president of flight operations and designated flight examiner.
Moses Kirkconnell, minister of tourism, was among those on hand to congratulate Mr. Scott.
“He’s a role model,” Mr. Kirkconnell said. “It’s inspiring for young men to see what he’s done with his life. He’s been all over the world. When you’re around Captain Scott and the other captains, who are Caymanian success stories, it gives you a very clear indication of the opportunities that are available for young people in aviation.”
For young people wanting to follow in his footsteps, Mr. Scott says the first thing they have to do is get a good education.
“A solid education will go a long way towards helping you because the new generation of aircraft that are coming out today are almost all computerized. There’s very little manual flying that’s being done,” he said.
Mr. Scott said introducing an electronic training database and iPads as Electronic Flight Bags are some of his proudest accomplishments. “We were the first in the Caribbean to do that” he said.
“It was a beautiful moment to share this with my husband today,” said his wife, Betty Ann Scott, who flew with Mr. Scott on his final flight, KX103, from Miami. “I’m so glad that everybody was here to share it with him.”