Like many pilots, JP Guilbault took his first flying lesson when he was 16, accompanied by his father who was a pilot. “I always had the itch to fly since childhood, and once the stars aligned, I took lessons after moving to Chicago in 2004 and got the private license that year,” he says. He enjoyed being a private pilot for a year and then added an instrument rating, which he says is “mandatory for any kind of regular flying around the Midwest.” Today Guilbault has logged close to 600 hours in a mix of single-engine piston airplanes.
When he flies, he typically takes family trips to Michigan or Wisconsin, although he has flown as far as Hilton Head, South Carolina, for a family reunion. “My wife enjoys flying as do our other family members,” he says. His flying hasn’t been all for fun, though. “There have been numerous periods in the past 10 years that I have used flying for business, as a regional manager for a medical device company, I cover the entire Great Lakes area, and GA makes trips around the area so much more practical and fun.”
JP GuilbartGuilbault flies a 2007 Cessna 172S model, purchased new. “I picked it because at the time there were no real technically advanced aircraft to rent around the Chicago area, and I wanted to fly an airplane that I was familiar with, good for our typical missions, and had the latest in safety and situational awareness technology.”
When it came time to rebuild the airplane’s engine, he turned to AOPA Finance. “I had heard great things about other pilots’ experiences with AOPA Finance,” he says. A refinance made sense to take advantage of slightly lower rates than were on the original loan from 2007. “AOPA Finance was outstanding to work with and made the process as easy as it could be, very well organized and their communication throughout the process was excellent. I would definitely recommend them to any other members!”
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