As preparations for Guyana’s 50th Independence Anniversary Celebrations get underway, the Roraima Airways sought to conduct its first Wing Commission ceremony for the year in a bid to strengthen the aviation sector.
The simple occasion was held on Saturday at the Roraima Duke Lodge. Attending the ceremony were Director of Guyana Civil Aviation Authority, Ms. Chaitrani Heeralall, Retired Colonel Larry London, Retired Major General Norman McLean and Captain Gerald Gouveia.
The recipients of the Wing Commission Ceremony were Captains Gerald Gouveia, Jr., Colin Martin and Terrence Trapnell and Pilot Ryan Prashad. These Pilots, as a token of the Commission, are now Command Pilots.
Ryan Prashad was born on February 2, 1985 and grew up in Georgetown. He attended Queens College during 1996-2002 after which he attended the Art Williams and Henry Wendt School of Aeronautics.
After graduating, he went on to further his aviation studies overseas at Vaughn College of Aeronautics in Flushing, New York (NY), USA, where he pursued studies for one year and then moved on to the Academy of Aviation, Farmingdale, NY.
There, he secured his Private Pilot’s licence, Instrument Rating licence and a Commercial Pilot’s Single Engine Licence. He has over 1200 hours of flight time under his belt. Prashad joined the Roraima flight squad in March 2013 and achieved the rank of Captain in September of 2015.
As for Captain Colin Martin, born on August 14, 1977, he too, grew up in Georgetown. After completing high school at age 17, he joined the Guyana Defence Force (GDF) where he completed his Officer Cadet training in 1995. He resigned from the GDF as a Major in 2012 after 17 years of dedicated service.
Martin chose to do his pilot training at Dean International Flight School, Miami, Florida, USA where he began his Private Pilot’s licence course in November 2011 and his Commercial Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Pilot’s license training from March 23 2012 to April 26 2012.
In May of the same year, this international licence was converted into a Guyana Pilot’s licence, after Martin returned to his homeland.
Martin brings a wealth of experience as a senior staff member, according to Roraima Airways.
Captain Gerry Gouveia Jr., is the eldest son of Captains Debra and Gerry Gouveia and was born in Quebec, Canada on February 5, 1987. He attended and graduated from the University of Toronto with a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. He served in the Canadian Armed Forces as a Commissioned Officer as well as the Air Force as a pilot for a total of eight years. He is the holder of a Canadian and Guyanese commercial pilot’s licence. Gerry, Jnr. is a certified Emergency Management Coordinator, recognized by the Province of Ontario, Canada.
Currently, he is a Director of Roraima Airways with specific responsibility for the day to day operations at the Ogle Airport. He is actively engaged in the Medivac night operations of Roraima Airways, having been trained under the hands of Captain Alvin Clark (d’cd) and his father, Captain Gerry Gouviea.
As for Captain Terrence Trapnell, he was raised in upstate New York in a farming and manufacturing community with his father being an immigrant from South America. While in High School, he studied Aviation at a technical institute and worked part time in a machine shop.
He started a job as a professional Flight Instructor at age 18 years and earned a 100 percent pass rate for students at their Private, Instrument and Commercial check-rides. Before coming to Guyana to volunteer as the Field Director for a Humanitarian Aviation Organization, Trapnell completed training at Flight Safety International, flew a turbo-prop in the North East Corridor, and worked a year on a cattle ranch in Australia.
In Guyana, Trapnell has organized over 15 surgical missions, and numerous medical outreach teams, including a women’s Cancer screening program while operating an air-ambulance program based in the Rupununi District.
He has conducted initial test landings at 10 new airstrips for remote villages of Guyana while consulting on many more. He helped organize the local board and established Remote Area Medical Guyana Inc, a Guyanese non-profit company. Trapnell joined the flight team in November of last year.
He has been awarded by the National Aeronautics Association for an Outstanding Achievement to Public Benefit Flying. He holds an Airline Transport Pilot licence and is a Certified Flight instructor for Instrument and Multi-engine airplanes.
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