After Guyana’s Independence in 1966 the government of Canada via CIDA (Canadian International Development Agency) offered assistance to improve Guyana’s aviation capability. Part of that assistance was to provide two DHC-6 Twin Otters, two DHC-4 Caribous and a state of the art hangar and maintenance facility at Timehri. The first aircraft 8R-GCP, a 19 seater De Havilland manufactured aircraft, the most modern in Guyana’s fleet at that time, left Canada on Sunday May 7, 1967 with stops in Detroit, Tallahassee, Miami, Nassau, Puerto Rico and Trinidad. The aircraft was flown by Captain Roland DaSilva and Co-pilot Anthony Man-Son-Hing.
They were accompanied by De Havilland Aircraft Company technical representative Mr. Robert J. Griffin. Mr. Griffin was deployed to Guyana for three months to train local Guyanese engineers. Captain DaSilva and Co-pilot Man-Son-Hing were in Canada for type rated training two weeks prior to the aircraft’s departure for Guyana. The aircraft arrived in Guyana on Tuesday May 9, 1967 and signaled a new era of aviation for Guyana Airways Corporation.
The aircraft was part of an aid program from CIDA (Canadian International Development Agency) that consisted of two DHC-6s Twin Otters, two DHC-4 Caribou, and the engineering hangar at Atkinson Field (Timheri). The Twin Otter, because of its Short Take Off and Landing (STOL) capabilities was expected to enhance GAC’s operations at Mackenzie (Linden), Rose Hall, Skeldon, Bartica and other outlying areas.
On Monday 3rd. December 1973, the Guyana Airways Corporation Twin Otter Aircraft 8R-GCP, collided with mountainside at 3,600ft level on descent to Kurupung, 300 miles southwest of Georgetown while en route from Ekereku to Lethem (about 140 nm SW of Georgetown). Of the four onboard, only one survived.
Darrell Lou-Hing is a retired pilot and avid aviation history buff
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