It was Captain Robert Hamaty’s last flight home. Cayman showed its love and respect for a beloved entrepreneur, and also one of Cayman Airways’ very first captains, on Friday 26 June, when his son, Captain Basil Hamaty flew his father’s casket home from Florida where Robert Hamaty passed away on June 13
The plane flew over the Tortuga Rum headquarters, the successful company Robert Hamaty founded, on its way to Owen Roberts International Airport, where many Cayman Airways pilots and captains stood alongside staff from Tortuga Rum, side by side with politicians, friends, family and loved ones. There were many tears shed, and many hugs, but many fond smiles too. Mr. Hamaty was very much loved, and liked, and respected, and he left many golden memories behind for people to cherish.
Fabian Whorms President and Chief Executive Officer of Cayman Airways said: “Captain Hamaty Joined Cayman Airways in 1978 after Cayman Airways got their first BAC 111 jet aircraft. He was our fourth Captain that was hired. He flew with Cayman Airways for quite a few years until he became ill and had to stop flying. Since that time he’s remained in contact with Cayman Airways and has been a lifelong lover, and friend of Cayman Airways. You may recall the very famous Cayman Airways Tortuga rum punch that we served for many years on board, well, all the rum was donated by Captain Hamaty. We miss him very dearly and on behalf of the Cayman Airways entire family from the Board of Directors to the Shareholders we give our deepest condolences to the entire family. Cayman has lost a great person and Cayman Airways in particular, mourns, as you can see from the turnout here, all the pilots, showing their respect.
“This flight today bears a special flight number. Normally the flight number would be CAY 3103, but this particular flight plan was filed with a flight number of RMH 3103, RMH meaning Robert Michael Hamaty, and that was in respect and in recognition of Captain Hamaty’s Contribution.” After the aircraft landed, there was a special double water cannon salute: “This is something that we do for pilots on their last flight,” Mr. Whorms said.
Many pilots who had the honour to fly with Robert Hamaty, spoke warmly of his memory. Former Captain Kel Thompson said: “I started flying the same year that Captain Hamaty joined Cayman Airways, and I can tell you he was a very kind man, and a fantastic pilot, he had a great sense of humor. He’s the gentleman who signed me out on my pilot’s license to release me to be a Captain, and I have a great emotional connection to him.
Captain Joey Jackson recalled: “I joined Cayman Airways back in 1981 and that is when I met Captain Hamaty – a beautiful fellow to fly with, I really enjoyed it and learned a lot from him. Very friendly fellow and easy to get to know, and he will be missed.”
Captain Rex Miller said: “We all flew with him as First Officers and so it was very special to be able to mentor his son, who is also a Captain now. He was our Mentor, and then we had an opportunity to mentor his son, Basil, and today he brought his dad home.
Captain Basil Hamaty said: I just want to take this opportunity to thank the team at Cayman Airways, Air Traffic Control, there was a lot of people involved for me to provide this tribute to my father. He was a great man, he’s going to be dearly missed by many, but he’s with the Lord now. It’s just amazing how everybody has been giving love and support to show that we can really give him a good send-off.”