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CULTURE SHOCK continued from page 24 regular paper run from St Croix to St Thomas. From the tragic day in October 1982 when Carib Air's Piper Navajo got caught in adverse weather conditions on its way to St Thomas to the stormy summer's day in 1998 when Air Anguilla's Cessna 402 encountered difficulties as it approached Melville Hall airport in Dominica. But at the same time, the history of aviation in Anguilla is a story of progress, of a people's efforts to meet challenges and succeed in the face of adversity. It is the story of a small dust strip built in the early 1940s, in the midst of a global war, and of its stages of development, from the time when only a small section of its west end was paved through the many years when it welcomed visitors without a control tower, which was not built until 1990. That progress is palpable today, even in the planes parked next to the runway, from Rainbow International Airways' King Air to the myriad jets serviced by David Lloyd's fixed-base operator business. Yet, the road travelled has not been erased by the achievements of such progress in Anguilla—not at the airport, not anywhere else. At Clayton J Lloyd International, the Britten Norman Islanders operated by Anguilla Air Services or Trans Anguilla Airways (notice the echo of past airlines in these names!) are in constant dialogue with the Learjets or the Gulfstreams from the north. They evoke the days when LIAT flew STOLs into the island, and they interact with the past through connections less subtle than they might seem: Tyden Air, as Carib Air came to be known after 1984, is still present at Wallblake airport in the figure of former pilots such as David Lloyd and Carl Thomas; and Kirby Hodge, whose face illumes Rainbow's counter, is somehow in constant conversation with Clayton Lloyd, after whom the airport has been renamed. In that tradition, every time any one of us profits from the facilities at Wallblake, we also contribute a part to the remarkable story of flight on this island.

TOP Clayton J. Lloyd gives a thumbs up from the cockpit of one of his Valley Air Services aircraft ABOVE Local airlines, such as Anguilla Air Services, and Trans Anguilla Airways continue the rich legacy of Anguilla aviation.

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pion-air

ANGUILLA’S FIRST GENTLEMAN OF FLIGHT. by Montague Kobbe

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ack in the 1950s, when things Anguillian were few and controlled from afar, one man had a dream: he didn't want to be a fire fighter, he didn't want to be a policeman, he didn't even want to be an astronaut—but he did want to rule the skies. That man, Clayton Jeremy Lloyd, was still a teenager when he was struck by the romance—but also by the practical connotations for a small, isolated island in the northeast Caribbean—of air travel. Two people played key roles in the pursuit of this ambition. The first of them was Jeremiah Gumbs, Clayton's uncle, who encouraged him to follow his dream and boarded him at his home in New Jersey, where in 1961 he became Anguilla's first licensed pilot. The second one is Peter McClees, an American friend of Clayton's who helped him purchase his first plane, a Piper Apache with which he ran a charter service between Anguilla, St Martin and St Thomas until an engine failure in July 1965 signalled the end of that adventure. Like most ends, though, this was also the beginning of something new, namely the first commercial airline based in Anguilla, which Jeremiah Gumbs set up together with Clayton Lloyd and a Piper Aztec. But Uncle Jerry and Captain Lloyd had different ideas about where Anguilla Airways should go, and when Peter McClees again offered to finance the young man's dream he spun off and created Valley Air Services (VAS), Anguilla's second airline. VAS grew steadily, adding to the original Piper Aztec a Piper Navajo, a Beech Twin Bonanza, a Cessna, an Islander and a Queen Air. At the same time Clayton's reputation not only as a safe pilot but also as a committed member of Anguilla's burgeoning business community was firmly cemented. But fate has its own strange ways of playing up, and suddenly, while VAS and Clayton Lloyd's joint star was still patently rising, everything turned on its head in a single flight. It was a standard commute between Juliana airport and Anguilla, an eight minute journey he wasn't even supposed to operate but which circumstance had him fly on Christmas Eve 1977. During take off the engines caught fire, causing the accident in which he and his six passengers lost their lives. Captain Lloyd was but 35 years of age, and yet his brief but bright existence had left a very distinctive mark on the development of his own country—a mark that to this day is acknowledged and celebrated in the name of Anguilla's international airport.

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Design Anguilla Issue 11 - The Men's Issue  

Issue 10 might have been our best received to date, so we simply had to follow up with the male counterpart. The needs of young men have bee...

Design Anguilla Issue 11 - The Men's Issue  

Issue 10 might have been our best received to date, so we simply had to follow up with the male counterpart. The needs of young men have bee...

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