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A History of Austin's Newest General Aviation Airport
W. H
Chapter 3
The Kahlbau Years
Why Owning an Airport was a Bad Idea
The idea of owning an airport never
crossed Jerry Kahlbau's mind. In fact, after
twenty-seven years it's still hard to muster a
clear picture of the venture. If he had to nail
it down, he'd say it all started that day in Aus-
tin, 1979, winter, cold as all get out, Jerry
hustling south along Guadalupe Street at the
edge of the UT campus, or maybe he'd just
rounded 24th Street, whichever, on his way
somewhere important, now long forgotten,
with his fingers already near frozen, the tips
1977. Charles Councill, Dave Armquist, Edward Naylor, L. Bruce Jones, Lee McMillian, Manley C. Butler Jr., Mike
Branch, Bob Collins, and Sean Kevin O'Connor exiting the Beechcraft N64A. Photo courtesy of Bob Collins.
blue, when he ran into an acquaintance. We'll
call him Marshall, and the two stood there on
the sidewalk in the inclement weather, spits
of rain coming at them at odd angles, anyone
with an IQ in double digits already indoors,
and they made uncomfortable small talk for
longer than necessary when Marshall said,
"What do you say we buy an airport?"
The proposition was without context,
strange, and oddly inviting at the same time.
Jerry had a long list of reasons not to buy an