Prairie Pilot is a collection of 100 true short stories written by the late Walter Williams, a welder and pilot in the Kerrobert region of west central Saskatchewan in the 1950s. He became a flying taxi service and unofficial air ambulance pilot to residents of his region after purchasing a small two-seater plane in 1947. For 16 years, he flew pregnant women, doctors, RCMP officers, criminals, teachers, books, corpses and friends to hospitals and other destinations – often in horrible weather conditions or at night when he wasn’t supposed to be flying. Walter tells of flying into storms and fog, landing in farmers’ fields, hunting coyotes from the air, and saving people’s lives by being the only available mode of transportation at the time. At time, he had little regard for the rules of Transport Canada and common sense, and he thanked Lady Luck many times for assistance in risky situations. Walter wrote about his adventures later over the course of 27 years, typing his memories on an old manual typewriter in script font. In his stories, he mentions more than 140 people in 75 communities that he visited. Walter Williams was a great storyteller who became a hero to his local community, helping many individuals and families in their times of need.
Deana Driver (dee-na) is a journalist, author, editor and publisher. She compiled and published Prairie Pilot: Lady Luck was on My Side at the request of Walter's family, to commemorate that era in Saskatchewan history and to honour the risks that Walter took to help others.