Veteran pilot and aviation pioneer with CAL dies aged 77

| 01/05/2024 | 13 Comments
Captain Harrison Bothwell

(CNS): Cayman Airways and the Ministry of Tourism have released a joint statement in the wake of the sudden death of 77-year-old Caymanian pilot Captain Harrison Bothwell at the weekend. Extending condolences to his family, they said that Bothwell was a pilot with the national flag carrier for almost five decades and was “respected and loved by all who had the pleasure of working with him”.

Cayman Airways President and CEO Fabian Whorms said, “To Captain Bothwell’s family, we share in your loss because he was also a special part of our Cayman Airways family, and he will be deeply missed and fondly remembered.”

Bothwell’s flying career began at Cayman Airways in March 1972 when he was hired by Norman Bodden and began his training to become a pilot. Across his flying career, he flew almost all aircraft types that Cayman Airways has had in its fleet, including DC-8, DC-9, BAC 1-11, the DHC-6 Twin Otter, and the Boeing 737-300 jets. He retired from flying in 2012 but continued to work with the airline, overseeing the day-to-day operations of Cayman Airways Express before finally retiring completely in 2020.

Tourism Minister Kenneth Bryan extended his condolences, calling Bothwell a “stalwart aviator and a true icon of Cayman Airways”. He said, “Captain Harrison’s distinguished career with Cayman Airways spanned almost five decades and was marked by unwavering dedication, unparalleled expertise and an enduring passion for aviation. Since his inaugural flight in 1972, Capt. Bothwell embodied a spirit of excellence, soaring through the skies with grace and precision.”

He added that Bothwell was a seasoned aviator, a revered mentor, a trusted leader and a cherished
friend. “As we mourn this loss of a true aviation pioneer, let us also celebrate his extraordinary life and
legacy. May his memory be a source of comfort and inspiration to his family, friends, colleagues and all
who had the privilege of knowing him. He will be deeply missed,” the minister stated.

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Comments (13)

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  1. Judith Binns ( Parsons) says:

    My condolences to the family of Captain Harrison Bothwell May he RIP.

  2. Walter Wally Brown says:

    Condolences to the Family, may his Soul Rest in Eternal Peace. Keep soaring Capt Bothwell.

  3. Anonymous says:

    I am very sad to hear captain Bothwell passing. great Captain. great all around man. Happy that he spent his last years on the Brac among friends. R I P sir.

  4. Brac News Lady says:

    Word has it that since the funeral will be at Cayman Brac, it is advised if you are going up to the Brac for this service that you call one of the three rental car agencies early to reserve your rental car!

  5. Adrien B Briggs says:

    RIP Harrison. You were one of best.

  6. Orrie Merren 🙏🏻🇦🇮 says:

    Sincerest condolences to Captain Bothwell’s family, friends and loved ones.

  7. Anonymous says:

    RIP Capt. Bothwell, a Caymanian trailblazer and best CAL pilot! A humble man who was just as comfortable in the left seat of an airliner cockpit as he was in a center console fishing boat.

    He saved lives in a 1993 accident which occurred under EVERY unfavourable condition combined into one …..darkness, thunderstorm, shortened and flooded runway, one thrust reverser! Capt. Bothwell’s brilliance shone!

    Happy contrails Capt. Bothwell, rest easy!

    • Col Jessop says:

      Are you suggesting that the cockpit crew who put the plane in the water were simultaneously the authors and the heroes of their misfortune?

      • Annonymous says:

        8.47am It was rumored that the Co-pilot was landing but him as Captain took the fall-out.

      • Anonymous says:

        Well Col, they didn’t drive it into the ground and thus saved lives..that makes them heroes in my book.

      • Anonymous says:

        Col Jessop 03@8.47am – your trolling is juvenile and unwarranted. I was
        one of the investigators if that accident and the concensus waa that Capt. Bothwell saved lives. That landing was conducted under the worst conditions possible and everyone walked away. BTW, Boeing’s MEL and CAL’s policies allowed the B737-300 to be flown with one thrust reverser.

  8. Anonymous says:

    He was a decent man from a decent Caymanian family. A part of the solid old Cayman that we are losing to greedy unprincipled politicians and immigrant criminals.
    May he rest in peace.

  9. Anonymous says:

    Cap’n Bothwell also flew a British Aerospace Jetstream 31 VP-CEX with Cancun Express airline which subsequently became Brac Express. This short-lived Airline was started by Cap’n Kel Thompson and operated from the early 2000’s until about 2007. It was said that during a post Maintenance flight, on climb out from an airport in Tennessee, he also suffered an engine failure in this ship, returned and landed safely. He was assisted in this operation by Mike Hydes, who was a first officer at the time.


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