Bohutinsky, Andrew "Andy" , 79, passed away peacefully at home in Key Biscayne with his family on August 2, 2020. A former Air Force fighter pilot and commercial airline captain, Andy once safely landed a Boeing 707 in the 90-mph crosswinds of a hurricane, with 150 passengers on board. Andy's family never heard this story until 30 years later, because Andy wasn't one to boast - but he did say he loved the challenge of landing that plane. If you spoke with Andy for any amount of time and asked him questions, you could learn amazing stories about his life, but you had to probe. Andy was born July 9, 1941 in Budapest, Hungary. At age four, he became a war refugee as his family fled 125 miles on foot during the Russian advance in WWII. His younger sister, Anne Marie, didn't survive the journey and Andy became an only child. Later, his family emigrated to the U.S. and eventually settled in Miami, where Andy graduated from Miami Edison High School in 1959 (playing on the state champion football team) and attended the University of Florida on an ROTC scholarship. After graduation, Andy soon found the two loves of his life: flying planes and a feisty Miami girl named Kathy Fox. Andy would never be the same. In 1965, Andy became an Air Force flight instructor and married Kathy Fox. Life moved as fast as the F-5 Tiger Fighter jets he flew, and the next 13 years brought 13 international and domestic moves, three kids and a career as a commercial airline pilot with TWA. Eventually the family settled for 17 years in Kansas City, Missouri, where Andy taught the kids to mow their hilly one-acre lawn, play a mean tennis game, drive on icy midwestern roads and change the oil in the car. And he made sure the kids drove cars that were huge, old and slightly rusty - because they were "safer." Andy worked hard in those years, including a second job as a Lieutenant Colonel with the Air National Guard Reserve, flying C130s and being called to serve in Iraq during 1991's Operation Desert Storm. Once his kids went to college, he and Kathy moved back to South Florida and Key Biscayne, not far from the lifeguard stand where they snuck their first kiss. He retired from TWA in 2001 after 33 years, and - not ready to give up flying just yet - spent the next 18 years as a flight instructor at Boeing, becoming certified to teach on every single model that Boeing flies. In Key Biscayne, he spent countless hours in the water with his grandkids, swimming, paddleboarding and being a human jungle gym. He had a knack for giving 100 percent of his attention to whomever he was with, always the steady and wise hand to land the plane despite whatever chaos swirled around him. As the rock in our family, he will be deeply missed. Andy is survived by his wife of 54 years, Kathy, his children Catherine (Patrick), Andrew Jr. (Elizabeth), and Amy (Francesco) and his seven beloved grandchildren. A private family memorial is being planned. In lieu of flowers, the family recommends supporting the Sol Goldman Pancreatic Cancer Research Center at Johns Hopkins.
Published in the Miami Herald on Aug. 5, 2020.