When JetBlue flight #1965, with non-stop service from New York’s JFK to Georgetown, landed at the Cheddi Jagan International Airport (CJIA) on Thursday night, Guyanese pilot Haslyn Peters was in the flight deck as First Officer or co-pilot.
This was Peters’ first flight home as part of the crew on a major carrier. Haslyn Peters grew up in Princess Street, Lodge. Becoming a pilot was his childhood dream, hence assuming the nickname “Pilot” since he was a little boy.
He attended Dolphin Government School and then The Bishops High School after he wrote Common Entrance Exams, now known as the National Grade Six Assessment (NGSA).
Even though he was passionate about airplanes and flying, he only got the opportunity to go on an aircraft for the first time in 1995 when his sister, Allison Peters, who was a flight attendant with the now defunct National Carrier Guyana Airways, asked one of the domestic pilots, Captain Astell Paul, to take him on a domestic flight.
Captain Paul took him on one of his trips to Kamarang and gave him the following advice “make sure this is what you want to do because it is not as glamorous as people say it is; it is hard work.”
In pursuit of his dream, Haslyn worked at the National Bank of Industry & Commerce, now Republic Bank Limited, to start saving for flight school.
With his parents’ financial assistance, he went to Trinidad in 1996, where he got his Private Pilot License from Briko Air Services Ltd. Upon his return to Guyana, he joined the Guyana Defense Force (GDF) Standard Officer Cadet Course #30 in May 1997, graduating as the Best Graduating Student in April 1998.
As an Officer with the GDF, Lieutenant Haslyn Peters was chosen to raise the Golden Arrowhead on Mount Ayanganna for three consecutive years, 1998 – 2000.
In 2001, Lieutenant Peters gained a scholarship through the government to attend the Sunrise Aviation Flight School in Ormond Beach, Florida. Upon his return, he was promoted to the rank of Captain and began flying as one of their military pilots.
Captain Peters had the opportunity to be mentored by some of Guyana’s top aviators, such as Captain Lloyd Marshall, Captain Egbert Field, Captain Patrick Nichols, Captain Russell Edun, and Captain Aziz Nizamuddin.
Captain Peters continued as a pilot with the GDF until he migrated to the USA in 2009, where he still resides with his wife, Shelley Lewis- Peters and their two daughters, Judeyah and Jaliyah.
While living in the USA, Peters flew the EMB-145 and CRJ 700/900 for several Regional US Airlines on behalf of Delta Airlines, American Airlines, and United Airlines and was the Captain on the CRJ-900 for an American Regional Airline prior to joining JetBlue.
In November 2022, he joined Jet Blue as First Officer on the Airbus 320/321. Haslyn continues to rely on the mentorship and Career guidance from Captain Lloyd Marshall, who still plays an integral role in his life.
Even though Guyana no longer has a National Career, Haslyn Peters is honoured to be able to follow in the footsteps of his mentors by serving the people of Guyana in his current capacity with Jet Blue.
Haslyn and the rest of the crew will leave on JetBlue flight #1966 for New York tomorrow.