Carib West corporate history

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Carib West corporate history

Unread post by bimjim » Sat Mar 19, 2016

Carib West Airways was formed in 1971 by some aviation investors from Jacksonville, FL, led by Robert H. Russell. The initial fleet was 3 DC-3's, 8P-AAA, 8P-AAB, and 8P-AAC. Trevor Mayers was the Assistant General Manager. The Chairman of the Board was Harold Went, brother of the DCA Ted Went.

Carib West flew general cargo on behalf of several freight forwarders and one of the biggest customers was Atkinson and Wolfe, who provided frozen foodstuffs to many of the hotels in SLU, SVD, and GND, and BGI, one of the earliest examples of just-in-time in the EC.

One of the big problems early on was ANU and their cabotage rules, but Carib West still flew cargo into ANU. Carib West basically flew anything, anywhere, anytime, including race-horses between BGI-POS-BGI during race meetings. That was revolutionary for its time, because prior to this the horses had to be transported by inter-island ships. John Goddard was one of the very earliest proponents of this and gave Carib West a great deal of business.

Tragically, on the evening of September 9th, 1971, 8P-AAC with Capt. Bob Anthony and F/O Ricky DeLima on board crashed into Basse-Terre in Guadeloupe. Carib West mounted a search-and-rescue operation and located the wreckage on Sept. 11th. The aircraft had been destroyed. The French Military brought the bodies to PTP and, accompanied by Prime Minister Errol Walton Barrow, who was a great friend of Carib West, the airline flew the bodies back to BGI.

In January, 1973, CAB approval to serve MIA was received and a Douglas DC-4/C-54, 8P-CWA, was acquired from Johnson Flying Service of Missoula, Montana. Carib West operated a [fairly] regular scheduled service with the DC-4 to MIA, often routing through KIN, but Cuban over-flight permission was hard to come by so that stopped fairly quickly.

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