Born on St. Croix, United States Virgin Islands (USVI) before moving to St. Thomas, Mr Adrian P. Tutein who has strong Virgin Islands roots has been a commercial pilot since 2012 and is only 33 years old.
His roots on Tortola runs as far as his grandparents with grandmother Alvera Ritter Sprauve born on Tortola along with his great-uncle M. Ashley Ritter, a well-known local businessman.
VI side of the family was there
Young Tutein who works for American Airlines departed from the Miami International Airport on Friday, November 25, 2022, and landed on St. Thomas at approximately 5:09 p.m. at Gate 3 at the Cyril E. King International Airport. He was met by his Grandmother Ms Ritter-Sprauve along with his Great-uncle Mr Ritter.
Also on hand were officials from the USVI Airports Authority and according to our VI Consortium partners “It was a sight and moment- to behold”. Speaking exclusively to our news Centre today Saturday, November 26, 2022, Captain Tutein noted that “it was a full circle moment for him having grown up in the USVI and landing a plane in his hometown.”
Mr Tutein was born and raised on St. Croix and he is a product of the public school system and attended the following schools: Pearl B. Larsen, Elena Christian Junior High School, and then the St. Croix Educational Complex.
He then furthered his education by attending Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University where he received his bachelor's in aeronautical science.
USVI Ports Authority showered praises on young pilot
VI Consortium noted that; In a conference room at the Cyril E. King Airport, officials spoke of the significance of Friday's event. Education Commissioner Dr. Dionne Wells-Hedrington congratulated Mr. Tutein and spoke of how inspiring his success is to young US Virgin Islanders aspiring to achieve big goals. "My hair stood up; it was definitely an opportunity that I will never forget and one that we will promote," Mrs. Wells-Hedrington said, referring to the introduction of aviation education at the USVI Dept. of Education.
USVI Port Authority Executive Director Carlton “Ital’ Dowe, who along with the staff coordinated, also spoke about the impact of Friday's event, stating that the positive outcomes for youngsters territory-wide could not be understated.
According to VI Consortium our media partner in the USVI, Mr. Dowe also brought light to his role in Mr. Tutein's story. He remembered receiving a call from one of Mr. Tutein's family members, relaying that Mr. Tutein had faced some hurdles and was trying to build his flying hours. Mr. Dowe got to work, calling Cape Air, Seaborne, and other local carriers. "I don't want to hear no. You can't tell me why a young man from this territory can't get hours in the air," he recalled his mindset at the time. "So when I got the call about two weeks ago that Adrian would be flying in on American Airlines, at that moment everything stopped for me," Mr. Dowe added, emotion overtaking his countenance.
Tortola side of family in the house!
The executive director said he is working with Senator Novelle E. Francis, who is expected to be the next Senate president, to champion legislation that would provide funding for young US Virgin Islanders to attend aviation school on St. Thomas.
For his part, Mr. Tutein expressed deep gratitude for the exceptional welcome. He also revealed that his uncle inspired him to become a pilot.
Mr. Tutein told Virgin Islands News Online today, “I am really living out my childhood dream." Captain Tutein’s uncle, Retired Lt. Commander in the U.S. Navy, Singo Sprauve, is also a pilot.
Many family members from Tortola expressed their joy for this momentous event including his Great-uncle Ashely Ritter who was on-site at the airport yesterday for the flight homecoming.
American Airlines flight 1461 an Airbus 319 to Cyril E. King Airport on St. Thomas being piloted by Adrian P. Tutein.
Captain Adrian P. Tutein with his great uncle M. Ashley Ritter and his grandmother Alvera Ritter Sprauve.
Many of the families and friends and
officials from the USVI Officials Airport Authority at the Cyril E.
Romney to greet the Captain including his grandmother Alvera Ritter
Sprauve who was born on Tortola.
Adrian P. Tutein Grandmother and Uncle poses for a photo opportunity.