By Ron Shillingford
Cayman Airways said goodbye to Captain Dave Scott on Wednesday who flew for the last time after almost 39 years.
When Mr. Scott landed on the tarmac his co-pilot was Garrett Conolly, a colleague he mentored and helped gain his pilot’s license. It was a fitting ending to a long and glorious career for Mr. Scott which started in June 1978, years before Mr. Conolly was even born.
Of his last flight, Mr Scott said: “I wouldn’t say that emotionally it was disturbing but the thought was there that it was the last flight I’ll do commercially.” It was the end of a total of 47 years as a pilot.
When he looked through the cockpit window and saw all his family, friends and colleagues waiting for him, Mr. Scott said it was “very gratifying, especially to see so many fellow colleagues to meet me on arrival.”
Mr. Scott admitted his final landing “was not the best I’ve done but good.”
He added that the next generation of pilots will be flying newer aircraft and they are being trained “as we speak so there will be a smooth transition.”
When Mr. Scott started flying it was all “round dials, no LED screens like we have now and LCD screens.” He added that there wasn’t really automatic, only the auto-pilot that could hold altitude. “Nowadays auto-pilot can do absolutely everything for you, including landing the aircraft,” he said.
The plane he enjoyed flying the most was the 727 because it was “highly manual, not very automated, but very fast. At the time it was the best there was.”
Mr. Scott’s advice to any aspiring pilots is to get “a good education, a solid education will go a long way towards helping you because the new generation aircraft coming out today are almost all computerised. There is very little manual flying being done.”