NEWS: Dead flight instructor sacrificed his life, says aviation school CEO Thursday, November 17, 2016


NEWS: Dead flight instructor sacrificed his life, says aviation school CEO Thursday, November 17, 2016

NEWS:  Dead flight instructor sacrificed his life, says aviation school CEO    Thursday, November 17, 2016

FOUNDER and Chief Executive Officer of the Caribbean Aviation Training Centre (CATC) Captain Errol Stewart has hailed Jonathan Worton, the flight instructor who was operating the small plane which last week crashed in Greenwich Town, St Andrew, as a hero, saying he had sacrificed his own life to protect the community.

Thirty-one-year-old Worton of Boonhall in Stony Hill, and two student pilots, Ramone Forbes from St Mary, and Danshuvar “Whiskers” Gilmore of Ocean Hill in St Ann, were killed last Monday after the aircraft developed mechanical problems and crashed into an abandoned building in the community, which is located off Marcus Garvey Drive.

Yesterday, during a memorial service at the Tinson Pen Aerodrome, where the school is located, an emotional Stewart, who referred to the three men as his sons, said the instructor did his best in the situation, and would have saved the lives of his two students if it had been possible.

Whatever transpired, this young man on that airplane, rather than a whole community on fire…surgically (he) put it (the plane) down on a burnt-out concrete house with four houses around. Not even a mosquito died. Let it be said that it is training, and that is procedure,” Stewart said, proudly. 

He told the gathering that an entire section of the community could have been set ablaze, were it not for Worton’s quick and heroic thinking. “He sacrificed himself to save the community. He got it right,” Stewart added. 

The veteran pilot admitted that the incident had caused him to question his own abilities, but that after speaking with the students’ parents he had been inspired by the transformation that aviation training had brought about in their young lives.

He said the three men would be missed by the Tinson Pen family, but that they were “called home” to be part of the “Almighty airline”.

Worton’s brother, Jason, who was present along with other members of his family, remembered his sibling as a loving man who was very passionate about flying.

“He loved to fly planes and he did a lot of things that he loved to do, so keep living. That’s what he would want us to do.”

The instructor’s uncle, John Worton, who flew in from Australia to support the family, said this was the saddest trip he has made.

He stressed that his nephew had lived a fulfilling life. “Enjoy life, because that is what God gave it to you to do; so don’t waste it. Rev that car and go hard, sideways in. Live your life because that was what Johnny was doing,” he said.

Forbes and Gilmore’s classmate, Dacia Williams, described them as wonderful human beings. “Ramone was extraordinary; he was different in a special way, and Whiskers was like a brother to me; he was also the male version of me — weird and crazy,” she said.

Family members of the unfortunate student pilots were scheduled to attend the event but were said to be still on their way to the school when the memorial ended. Captain Stewart assured that special arrangements would be made to have the ceremony continue upon their arrival.

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