Pilot who died in Roraima Airways crash laid to rest
The 39-year-old Roraima Airways pilot, Collin Winston Martin, who died after his plane crashed at Eteringbang in Region Seven on July 25, was today laid to rest.
Martin was described as a humble person by his family, friends, and colleagues who gathered to honour his life and work.
“He wasn’t even a hero, he was a superhero,” said Capt. Gerry Gouveia (Jnr.), his colleague, as he described the late pilot.
“For those of you who don’t know, when we’re going into these jungles, before we get to the runway, we have a lot of time to bond and talk, and I learned many things about Captain Martin while flying through the jungles at night; he loves to cook, he loves to sing…he sang and he sang and he sang.
“And the most shocking thing I’ve ever learned about him is that he is a Barbra Streisand fan. One of the greatest thing I’ve learned about him is he is a man of God and we’ve had many discussions about geology, religion, morality, mortality, on these many flights,” he stated.
The “Going Home” service for the late pilot was hosted at the Central Assembly’s Church at Church and East Streets, Georgetown.
Martin was praised for his skills to fly an aircraft at nights and saving many lives through his successful medical evacuations.
“Colin’s soul lives on in lives of over 1200 people he gave a longer life to – by leaving the comfort of his bed and home, night after night, after night, to fly his aeroplane deep into the jungle to land on tight and narrow airstrips that was difficult even in broad daylight…” another of his colleague, Capt. Leary Barclay stated. He added that night med evacs were optional because it required “a special man” to do them.
Martin was employed with local airline Roraima Airways when the plane he was piloting crash landed at the Eteringbang airstrip in Region Seven.
It is reported that he lost control of the aircraft while it was approaching the runway on July 25.
Also sharing his tribute was Chief Executive Officer of Roraima Airways, Capt. Gerald Gouveia. He also pointed out that the pilot saved many lives. He pointed out that the country needs to salute men and women in uniform and pilots who criss-cross the jungles day and nights, “keeping the hinterland of this country alive.”
The father of one also worked with the Guyana Defence Force earlier in his career.
As he received an emotional send-off, Martin’s casket was draped with the Golden Arrowhead.