Rojorn Campbell was perhaps expecting another smooth landing, not the rough one that cut his life short Thursday afternoon, and emotionally jolted his hometown of Ewarton near Linstead in St Catherine.
The 25-year-old, with all accomplishments and dreams, perished when the Cessna 206 aircraft he captained plunged from the Trelawny skies. It ended up in a densely wooded area of Georgia – not far from the tiny town of Duncans.
There were two other casualties of the plane crash – Carlon Snipe and 43-year-old Miguel Jones. They, like Campbell, were employed to International Airlink.
Campbell, who exchanged nuptial vows three weeks ago with a lady named Amoy, has a five-year-old daughter, Kyara.
He also has an older brother, Joel Douglas.
Douglas told Jamaica Beacon that his late sibling had many big dreams. He was planning to expand his ground transportation business, and to eventually fly for one of the major commercial carriers.
“He always wanted to be a pilot and that motivated him to study aviation,” Douglas said. Campbell studied at the Caribbean Aviation Training Centre in Kingston, and then PAN AM International Flight Academy in Florida.
He is also a past-student of Spanish Town Infant School, Ewarton Primary, Kingston College, and St Jago High School.
“My brother lived Kingston College’s motto, ‘the brave my fall but never yield’. He was dedicated to his job, his family and Almighty God,” Douglas noted. “He cared for and was loved by everyone. He was a hard worker and a fighter.”
Douglas further told Jamaica Beacon that he is yet to come to grips with his brother’s demise. “I am still in disbelief; I am still looking forward for his phone calls. I am going to miss him dearly; we had many good times together.”
“This event has greatly impacted the family,” Douglas declared. “I am just asking for friends, loved ones and the entire Jamaica to remember us in their prayers.”
Douglas reflected on the last moment he spent with his brother – a moment that contradicts now. “My last moment with my brother was a happy one; it was at his wedding. I spoke to him at the end of the reception,” he said.
Douglas explained that the family’s nightmare started Thursday evening (May 3) when a representative of International Airlink telephoned to report that the single-engine plane disappeared in Trelawny with three persons, including Campbell.
Everyone prayed for a miracle. It didn’t happen.
One of Campbell’s close friends from as far back as primary school, Ayesha, said some of her most cherished memories of Campbell are in relation to planes.
“He was very passionate and he knew for sure without a doubt what he wanted to become, a pilot. He was an all-rounder. He had a huge personality,” she told Jamaica Beacon, adding that they traveled on the same bus when they also attended schools in the capital city.
“Campbell would marvel at the aeroplanes as he saw them soaring [in the vicinity of Norman Manley International Airport],” Ayesha recalled.
“I remember us picking Campbell up from Kingston College [on the bus]. We’d drive by the Waterfront and just be in time to see a take-off [at the airport]. Our bus driver was like a father to us, so he would stop so that Campbell could see all the action. That passion he had eventually rubbed off on us.”
Douglas, in the meantime, has an almost perfect idea of how his late brother would like to be remembered. “I think he would like to be remembered as a fun, loving and dedicated person. That’s how I think he would like to be remembered.”
By Horace Mills