Grand Cayman’s airspace was busy for a change on Friday May 22, 2020, as a series of take-offs and landings were conducted by the Flight Training Department for Cayman Airways Limited (CAL) in order for some of its pilots to maintain their “Pilot Recency of Experience” certification - a regulatory requirement in the Cayman Islands.
The operational training flight was part of the mitigation strategy by the airline to ensure that its pilots maintain their proficiency with flying CAL’s Boeing 737-300 aircraft during the government’s airport closure due to the threat of the Coronavirus (COVID-19).
The training fights were conducted from Owen Roberts International Airport (ORIA) between approximately 9:30am and 12 Noon.
“Due to the situation with the Coronavirus (COVID-19) and Cayman’s borders being closed, the pilots have been unable to attend their regularly scheduled simulator recurrent training at Boeing’s Miami campus,” explained Captain Stephen Coe, CAL Manager Of Flight Training. “This is not taken lightly, and through our partnership with the Civil Aviation Authority of the Cayman Islands (CAACI), regulatory extensions were granted to the Cayman Airways crews to conduct these training flights to help meet our training requirements.”
Captain Coe said airlines around the globe are carrying out similar strategies to ensure that crews remain proficient with their core skills while borders are closed.
“There were 15 take-offs and landings over a relatively short period of time, which was necessary for all of the participating pilots to each achieve the required number of take-offs and landings to maintain their currency and competency, and over the next few weeks we will be accomplishing more such flights in order to keep all of our pilots current,” added Cayman Airways President and CEO, Fabian Whorms. “We thank the CAACI and the Cayman Islands Airport Authority (CIAA) for working with us during these unprecedented times, to ensure that our pilots are able to meet their regulatory requirement for completing at least three take-offs and landings every 90 days to maintain their ‘Recency of Experience’ certification.”
Participating in the training flights were the following Cayman Airways pilots: Captain Perry Panton (CAL Chief Pilot), Captain Steven Coe, Captain Olson Anderson; First Officer Leroy McLaughlin; First Officer William McTaggart; and First Officer Garrett Conolly.