Brazilian Air show brings love to Guyana’s sky + video

Brazilian Air show brings love to Guyana’s sky

Demerara Waves – Sunday, 24 March 2013 18:11

Sunday afternoon, March 24, 2013, was a time of Love in the sky as friends, families, relatives and other loved ones flocked the Kitty Seawall for the Brazilian Squadron air-show.

That was one of the activities to observe the 100th anniversary of civil aviation in Guyana.                         


The seven Brazilian Air Force planes performing at the Air Show

The seven planes gave their spectators a hair-raising 40-minute treat to what can best be termed aviation acrobatics just off the Georgetown shoreline. The spectators included several Brazilians residing here.

Among the stunts were several high-altitude free falls, inverted (upside-down) flying and narrow shave exchanges among the planes that had been split into two sets.

Everyone cheered and as the pilots used their ‘mean machines’ to draw a heart in the sky with their smoke emissions,

Just offshore the seawall was a small Guyana Defence Force (GDF) Coast Guard to keep off mariners from the area. The airspace over a section of Georgetown was closed off from 3:30 PM to 5:00 PM to facilitate the air-show.

President Donald Ramotar, top Guyana Defence Force (GDF) officers, government officials and other dignitaries viewed the spectacular show from Camp Ayanganna.

City residents and many other interested persons were today given the opportunity to witness the Guyana Civil Aviation Authority’s (GCAA’s) re-enactment of the first flight in Guyana, the Government Information Agency (GINA) reported.

A Guyana Defence Force (GDF) helicopter took off and landed on Home Stretch Avenue to the delight of the many gathered in the vicinity of the Square of the Revolution and Castellani House. Air Services Limited’s (ASL) newly-acquired Bell helicopter landed successfully but was unable to lift off due what officials said was an unexpected “hard start.”

In 1913, the first flight occurred in Guyana, and from that time to now there has been overwhelming developments in the aviation industry. This is evident in air travel in and out of Guyana, the number of existing airstrips spread throughout the country, proliferation of private operators, training and continuous investments made towards the development of the Cheddi Jagan International Airport (CJIA) and the Ogle Airport.

The inaugural flight which was undertaken by a German-American man took off from the then Canon race course which is now Bel Air Park and flew around the city.

“In the history of our world there are many important revolutions, social revolutions and revolutions in science and technology, and certainly the fact that man made a break through… to fly, was indeed one of the great revolutions of this world,” President Ramotar was quoted by GINA as saying.

He noted that the impact of man taking flight is being felt today.
The ASL Bell Helicopter being pushed off Homestretch Avenue to the 1763 Square of the Revolution so that the thoroughfare could have been reopened to vehicular traffic. (Photo by Gordon Moseley)

“The emphasis on globalisation has to do with the revolution in transportation, essentially air transportation, which has made leaps and bounds, and the revolution in communications…these two scientific revolutions have furthered the social revolution and the integration of our world,” President Ramotar said.

The Head of State urged Minister of Public Works, Robeson Benn and Director General of GCAA, Zulfikar Mohammed to record the knowledge they have about civil aviation in Guyana so that Guyanese can become more aware of the achievements in that area.

“Economic development in our country and the speed that we want to go, I see aviation playing a very important part in the development of mining and agriculture… I think we have possibilities for large scale agriculture and it is very important for our economic development as well,” the President said.

Stressing that food security in Guyana has a lot of potential, the Head of State said there is need now for diversification.

Minister of Public Works, Robeson Benn in his presentation accredited Alberto Santos-Dumont, a Brazilian, for determining what needed to be done with regards to controlled flights. Ten years after that, George Schmitt a German-American staged the first flight in Guyana.

“Flying in Guyana is now an indispensible means of transportation, it has widened the vistas, experiences and hopes of an emerging nation,” Minister Benn said.

He hihlighted that as an independent nation, Guyanese are now flying and repairing their own aircraft, thereby making aviation a safe and efficient means of trransportation.

Because of Guyana’s geographic position, during the second World War the secure lines for the ferry flights for bombers and fighters over Africa, Europe and the Asian theatre of operations was through Piarco International Airport in Trinidad and Tobago, and on to Atkinson Field.

The establishment of the Atkinson field took advantage of Guyana’s mineral endowment and geographic location. It ensured that the supply of critical bauxite exports of aluminum into the World War 2 effort was assured along with the protection of oil and iron ore supply from Venezuela and Trinidad.

He recognised that while there have been challenges there is much to look forward to in the aviation sector. This include the extension of the Cheddi Jagan International Airport to accommodate transatlantic aircraft and development of Ogle Airport as a regional aerodrome.

Director General of GCAA, Zulfikar Mohammed in his remarks noted that today marked a once in a lifetime milestone, and that the aviation industry has many thrilling stories.

Mohammed illustrated that prior to World War 2, aviation activities were limited, and thereafter flights were embarked upon by the British and Americans who came to Guyana with private companies in the hinterland hence the initial opening up of the hinterland regions.

Due to Guyana’s water mass, the aircraft of choice at that time were the amphibious types. He pointed out that the precursor to scheduled air travel was established by Art Williams and his co-pilot.

Under British regulations, Guyana was able to set up its first international airport which was known as Atkinson Field located in Linden, Region 10.

Mohammed pointed out that Guyana’s civil aviation industry continued to develop into the 1950s and 1960s with support from the Government of Guyana. The Brazilians were also instrumental in the development of aviation and the hope was expressed that the relationship can be strengthened.

Mohammed applauded the Ali and Correia families for their contributions to the aviation industry, particularly in the provision of services to the interior. Thereafter others such as Kayman Sankar and Ronald Reece, joined the industry.

As part of today’s activity, Minister Benn launched a model aircraft club for youths which will give them a more formal introduction into the aviation industry.

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  • de castro  On 03/27/2013 at 11:25 am

    Entertaining..wish I was there…

  • Cyril Balkaran  On 03/27/2013 at 12:05 pm

    This is the beginning of greater things to come. Yes the sky is the limit for us. We welcome the cooperation between Brazil, the most populous country in South America and Guyana the ,least populous place in South America. It is initiatives like this one that will bring home joint collaboration to the Guyanese Republic!

  • Gloria Phillips  On 03/27/2013 at 12:32 pm

    I’m sure it was just as entertaining as the first display we wittnessed some time ago. Sorry I wasn’t there to see this one too.

  • Clyde Duncan  On 03/27/2013 at 2:12 pm

    I was there to witness the Brazilian display during Carifesta X in 2008 – it was awesome – the sky-writing was spectacular! In addition, I believe Guyana will benefit from being a neighbour of Brazil, a BRIC nation, as much as Canada has benefitted from being a neighbour of the USA. I can’t wait to see that highway from Brazil and a new deep-water port with cranes for loading and unloading ships in Guyana. We can expect to see cities springing up along the highway and more …. and a revitalized railway system. Excuse me, le’ me babble!

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