LIAT is mourning the death of one of its pilots who passed away Monday night in Trinidad and Tobago.
Martin Laville, an employee of the Caribbean airline since 2008, is believed to have suffered a heart attack.
Laville was one of LIAT’s Dash 8’s captains, and when he was not transporting the region’s passengers, he was engaged as a third-degree black belt instructor at Antigua Shotokan Karate Club.
Sensei Sir Clare Roberts, the chief instructor of Shotokan, said that the organisation is saddened to learn of the instructor’s death.
“It came as a shock. It was very surprising. He has been with Shotokan for many years. He came right through the ranks. He started as an adult with a white belt and worked his way to a third-degree black belt in 2013. He even named his youngest son after one of the chiefs of the Japanese Karate Association’s instructor, Master Mikami,” Roberts said.
  The sensei told OBSERVER media yesterday that this death is particularly devastating because it is Shotokan’s second death in less than a week. Roberts divulged that Carlos Ollivierre, last Thursday’s homicide victim, was also an active member of the karate club.
He described Laville as a helpful and willing asset to the organisation.
“His death is just surprising, because as a pilot he would be expected to undergo regular check-ups and that made it all the more shocking,” Roberts said. “Shotokan has lost two keys, he was a force to [Instructor] Dan.”
At the time of his death, Captain Laville was not on duty.
Yesterday, Shavar Maloney, LIAT’s Corporate Communications Manager, extended condolences on behalf of the airline to Laville’s family and friends.
Laville’s colleagues also took to social media to express sympathy to his family, specifically to his children. Many recalled the pilot as a kind and caring co-worker.
Attempts to contact Laville’s immediate family in Antigua were unsuccessful up to press time.
The pilot was a native of Dominica.