More than just a pilot - Scholarship launched to honour late Snipe

More than just a pilot – Scholarship launched to honour late Snipe

Less than a week after 25-year-old Carlon Snipe lost his life in a plane crash in Trelawny, his relatives did something they know he would have wanted. They launched the Carlon Snipe Pilot Scholarship Fund.

The Trinidad-born pilot, whose father is Jamaican and mother Trinidadian, touched many lives before a May 3 plane crash claimed his. His International Airlink co-workers – Miguel Jones and captain Rojorn Campbell – also died in the crash.

“Carlon was a man that gave unselfishly of himself to anybody. He was caring, sharing, has a positive drive – nothing negative, always motivating people – the young, the old and the in-between,” said his father, Carlton Snipe.

“My son was a very social person; he didn’t have to know you to talk to you.”

Snipe having one of his many motivational sessions with students

When he was eight years old, Carlon relocated from Trinidad to Jamaica with his father, his twin sister Karisia, and his mother Karen. They lived at Bethel Town in Westmoreland, then in St James.

“From the age of three years old, Carlon wanted to be a pilot,” his father explained.

“His toy at three years old was a little wooden plane with two wheels that we bought in Trinidad. He had that plane right up until he did A Levels.”

Carlon was a past-student of Cornwall College as well as Herbert Morrison Technical High where he attended sixth form. He also went to flight school here in Jamaica before he attended SkyEagle Aviation Academy in Florida.

Carlon’s passion was to eventually fly for Caribbean Airlines and so he, towards the end of last year, underwent a four-month training programme in Trinidad and Tobago.

“He passed all 13 exams to fly with Caribbean Airlines. That was his ultimate plan; he was just waiting now to be called by Caribbean Airline,” the father said.

While Carlon awaited his major breakthrough, he, in December last year, started to work with International Airlink – a company with which he had a prior relationship.

Things were progressing smoothly until the afternoon when tragedy struck. “That [crash has] devastated the family totally and we are still trying to recover from the devastation,” Carlon’s father told The Jamaica Beacon.

He stated that his son, a former employee of Knutsford Express bus service and revered schoolboy cricketer, was also a family man. “He was very involved with family, very involved. He was a shining light for his friends and family.”

Carlon’s aunt Bernell Bianca Blackman also spoke highly of the late pilot.

“He loved flying and made everyone else around him love it too. The sheer passion and joy that you could physically feel around him is indescribable. His energy and love of life was contagious; you had to be happy or laughing when Carlon was near. He was always a mentor from a young age,” she told The Jamaica Beacon.

“Carlon had big dreams of opening his own flight school and giving back to the youth in his community. He would go into the schools to mentor students.”

Blackman further said her nephew has a large network of friends and family in the United States, Canada and England that is also in shock over the tragedy.

“The world has lost a leader and mentor,” she added.

Blackman told The Jamaica Beacon that, at the start of the week when the plane crashed, she had an exchange with her nephew on social media – as shown below. It was their last.

Written by Horace Mills

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