Profile of The Week
By Dr. DHANPAUL NARINE
President George H.W. George Bush calls him his son. He has worked for over ten years in Nigeria and has experience in Saudi Arabia, India, the United States, and several other countries. The young man is Haimpersaud Ramdular who is one of the heroes in aviation. He has amassed thousands of hours, flying all types of aircraft, and is currently one of the most sought after pilots in the aviation industry. But throughout it all Haimpersaud has maintained his sense of balance; he has remained humble and approachable and is always prepared to share his knowledge with others.
Haimpersaud is also known as Joe, as well as Hippie, to his friends. He was born in Leopold Street in Georgetown, Guyana and the family moved to Bel Air Gardens. Haimpersaud is the last of nine children and many of them went into respectable professions. His mother was Rohini and his dad was Bajrang Ramdular Mahadeo, who was from the West Coast of Demerara.
Haimpersaud attended Trinity Methodist and then he moved to Indian Education Trust College in 1978. He was accepted to Queens College to do his ‘A’ levels and he later went to St. Roses College. He also spent some time at the University of Guyana. Haimpersaud worked fixing office machines and changing the combination of safes in banks.
It came time for him to make a decision about his future. His brother Rabindranauth Ramdular (Robbie) was instrumental in helping the young Haimpersaud to choose a career. Robbie was an accountant and economist. At first, Haimpersaud wanted to study political science and theology. But Robbie had other plans.
‘I told Robbie that I wanted to become a pilot. He said that I should show him that I was serious. I went to my uncle Kayman Sankar at Ogle and I began washing planes, cleaning and loading them and then I learned how to start an airplane.’ Once he saw that Haimpersaud was serious Robbie mortgaged his house and paid his brother’s fees.
In 1988, Haimpersaud went to the Aviation School of Southend in London. It was a tough three-year course but Haimpersaud passed with flying colors and did it before the allotted time. He had more than 1500 flying hours and was qualified for his Airline Pilot Transport (ATP) license. The license enabled him to fly a variety of aircraft, including the 737, the Beach Jet, the Challenger, the 600, the Beach 300, and the G5, among others.
Haimpersaud returned to Guyana after he completed his studies in England. He began flying in Guyana’s interior. In 1992, he migrated to the United States. He had to start all over again. He did odd jobs as a waiter, worked in a nursing home, and made hotel arrangements at an airport. These jobs helped him to connect with people and to understand their needs.
Haimpersaud’s break came in 1995. One day, a colleague approached him and was impressed to know that Haimpersaud had an ATP license. After an interview, he found a job in Portland, in Maine. His hard work had paid off. In time, he was promoted as Chief Pilot of Charter Operations. Haimpersaud’s next stop was Saudi Arabia. He was a pilot for Saudi Aramco and this led him to fly all over the Middle East. He was stationed there for three years after which he went to the United Arab Emirates. These tours of duty gave Haimpersaud valuable experience. He returned to the United States in 2007, and it wasn’t long before he was offered a job in Nigeria.
He impressed his employers and became the Chief Pilot and Director of Operations. Haimpersaud spent ten years in Nigeria from 2007 to 2017, working for Tak Aviation. This was an amazing experience that opened up the African continent to him. It also gave Haimpersaud the opportunity to fly different aircraft. His previous assignment was flying in India where he spent a year.
How did he get involved with President George H.W. Bush? Haimpersaud said that he met with President Bush at Charter OPS in Portland, in Maine. He flew the President to Kennebunkport. There was a lot of ice on the ground. They landed in Pinehurst and President Bush, a pilot himself, was most thankful.
Haimpersaud said that President Bush was nice, humble and courteous. He flew the President on many occasions. They developed a good relationship that the President would refer to Haimpersaud as his son! Over the years, Haimpersaud piloted Mitt Romney, the late John McCain, Diana Ross, Sean Penn, and others.
The life of a pilot has taught Haimpersaud many lessons and one of them is the importance of leading a normal life. He currently works for Talon Airways where he has been promoted to a Captain. Haimpersaud thanks his family for supporting him, especially his wife Asha, whom he describes as a homebuilder. He says that his in-laws are also wonderful people.
Haimpersaud is grateful to his parents Rohini and Bajrang, his brother Robbie and his wife Asha for standing by him. He also thanks Pandit Chunelall Narine for being the Guru in his family’s life. Haimpersaud is a credit to his profession. He is a proud Guyanese that can play a vital role in aviation in Guyana. He is friendly, approachable, and is always willing to share his ideas with others.
We salute Captain Haimpersaud Ramdular as a stalwart in aviation and a Top Rank Pilot. He brings distinction to his profession and his country. We wish him and his family all the best in the future.