Scores bid farewell to stu­dent pi­lot

Jamaica Gleaner - - NEWS - ru­ral@glean­erjm.com

PORT AN­TO­NIO, Port­land: HUN­DREDS TURNED out on Sun­day for a thanks­giv­ing ser­vice at Bound­brook Seven­th­day Ad­ven­tist Church in Port­land for stu­dent pi­lot Ra­mone Forbes, who died at hos­pi­tal fol­low­ing a plane crash on November 10.

His flight in­struc­tor, Jonathan Wor­ton, along with an­other stu­dent pi­lot, 19-year-old Dan­sheer Gil­more also per­ished in the crash.

Tears flowed as Forbes was fondly re­mem­bered for de­ter­mi­na­tion, ded­i­ca­tion, and pas­sion for not only be­com­ing a pi­lot, but also the ac­tive role played by him at Pri­est­man’s River Sev­enth-day Ad­ven­tist Church as a youth leader and a Pathfinder.

“We are very proud of the strides made by our young peo­ple,” said Pas­tor Ad­lai Blythe.

“Forbes was a part of the grad­u­at­ing class of Master Guides last June. He was a very ac­tive young man at home, his church and across at North East Ja­maica Con­fer­ence.

Founder and chief ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer of the Caribbean Avi­a­tion Train­ing Cen­tre (CATC), Cap­tain Er­rol Ste­wart, la­belled all three vic­tims as his sons, who he said were des­tined for a bright future.

“I lost three sons and it is not easy pick­ing up the pieces,” he said.

“How­ever, the joy for me is that the Almighty se­lected three of my finest pi­lots. For this rea­son, I am happy as they went on to the Almighty air­line. When he came to CATC, all I saw was a bright smile on his face. From that day on, Forbes was re­ferred to as ‘Smi­ley’. Let us, in­stead, re­flect on the joy and pas­sion that he has left be­hind,” Ste­wart noted.

SCHOL­AR­SHIP IN HIS HON­OUR

Ac­cord­ing to Ste­wart, a schol­ar­ship will be launched in hon­our of Forbes, not­ing that a past stu­dent of Titch­field High School who shared the same pain, pas­sion, vi­sion and love for avi­a­tion, will be se­lected for the schol­ar­ship.

Ra­mone died just two weeks shy of his 18th birthday. He grew up in the ru­ral district of Cas­tle in Pri­est­man’s River, Port­land. As early as age three, he de­vel­oped a love and in­ter­est in air­craft.

Forbe’s aunt Ju­dith Miller, in de­liv­er­ing the eu­logy, said while in high school Ra­mone’s book cov­ers were used to make toy planes.

“In 2011, he

en­rolled in a men­tor­ship pro­gramme at the Ian Flem­ing In­ter­na­tional Air­port. At his grad­u­a­tion, his fa­ther and brother had the chance to fly with him over Bosco­bel and Ocho Rios. In 2013, he en­rolled in the same men­tor­ship pro­gramme at Tin­son Pen where he trav­elled to ev­ery day. While en­rolled at CATC, he was the youngest in his class. He en­rolled at The Mico Univer­sity Col­lege as a com­puter sci­ence stu­dent in 2016, but it was never his dream as he would al­ways main­tained that he was a pi­lot, not a teacher,” said Miller.

Stu­dent pi­lot Ra­mone Forbes

PHOTO BY GARETH DAVIS SR

Pall-bear­ers car­ry­ing the re­mains of stu­dent pi­lot Ra­mone Forbes, who died dur­ing a plane crash re­cently.

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