A Life Changing Ride

by Kurt Guillan, EAA 932

I like to imagine that my life has had two beginnings and that my story comes together at MADII, a virtual intersection in the sky, a navigation fix that pilots use during their approach into Chicago O’Hare. It’s a place where, at 10,000 feet, you can look to the right and see a small lake that nestles the small airport where my aviation journey began.

Galt airport is the place where my second life began. During one summer my father took me to a Young Eagles event where I met a generous pilot and his cream-colored Piper Cherokee. That man, Larry Schubert, has probably flown hundreds of kids during his time at Galt airport, but neither of us knew at the time that this would be the event that shaped the course of my life.

Kurtis Guillan,
First Officer, SkyWest Airlines

Years had past. I hadn’t seen Larry for over a decade on the day I walked up to him while he fueled the cream-colored Cherokee. “You probably don’t remember me but…”

During that short interaction, I described my path in aviation to him and how I was led back to Galt, this time, as a flight instructor. It brought a big smile to his face. We both knew the unspoken truth: this small country airport is a crucible of aviation.

Every time I pass over MADII, I look to the right and get a reminder of what aviation is truly about. It’s about the passion we all share and the community that shares it with others. It’s about turning around and lending a hand to those who follow. I am incredibly grateful to all who have done that for me. *In that spirit, I was very humbled to be asked to help guide the next in line. When EAA Chapter 932 was selected to administer a Ray Aviation Scholarship, I was elated to watch as yet another aviation story is written right here at Galt. There is something special about this place that attracts people who are extremely passionate about flying.

Our Ray Scholarship recipient, Jeff Boyack, is no different. If you’ve met him, you’re well aware that he is definitely cut from the same cloth. It’s no surprise then that he was our first applicant and first success, the first in what I hope will be a long line to follow.

While Jeff’s journey now continues at Liberty University, his story began right here at Galt, where he has his roots, just like so many of us.

There are probably thousands of words written about this place – and even a book for good measure! But there are no words that can describe the feeling when you make the turn off Greenwood Road, pass the old barn and silo that sports an airport beacon, and gently descend into the little slice of heaven we call Galt.

I want to thank everyone for making Galt a place unlike any on earth. Congratulations to Jeff and to all who, in 2019, crossed major milestones right here at Galt!