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Long-serving Guyanese pilot succumbs to cancer

Captain Alvin Clarke

Veteran Guyanese  pilot, Captain Alvin Clarke succumbed early Saturday morning to cancer, plunging the aviation sector into grief at the loss of a man who was well-respected in emergency medical evacuations (medivacs).

President of the National Air Transportation Association (NATA), Annette Arjoon-Martins told Demerara Waves Online News that Clarke would be sadly missed for his contribution and wealth of experience.

“It is very sad to have lost such a veteran pilot and most importantly someone who probably had the record to do the most night medivacs in the country,” said Arjoon-Martins who is also an executive at Air Services Limited.

Arjoon-Martins said the younger aviators are the poorer for Clarke’s passing.

Chief Executive Officer of Roraima Airways, Captain Gerry Gouveia, on his Facebook Profile, paid tribute to his late employee and former Guyana Defence Force (GDF) officer.

“It’s a sick child, it’s a pregnant woman with complications, it’s an accident victim, it’s a Guyanese whose life depends on Captain Alvin Clarke flying that plane through the dark nights, over those mountains tops, descending into the darkness of the jungle night, then landing on short unpaved, uneven runways which is visible only by the flickering lights emanating from the flames of the flambeaus which were positioned by villagers to outline the runways on those dark nights,” said Gouveia.

Prior to Clarke’s passing, a dinner had been held in his honour.

The NATA President said her association would also be exploring other ways to honour him posthumously, especially for his humanitarian work.

Captain Clarke has his roots in the Lower Pomeroon River.