Saturday, February 14, 2015

Mifflintown Airport (P34), Pennsylvania: Aero Club helps members reach new heights

The Mifflintown Airport Aero Club has been spotted in the skies over central Pennsylvania for the past 10 years and counting.

Its slogan, "Convenient Flying at Economical Rates," holds true as the club makes it possible for an individual to have access to a small, single engine aircraft to use for travel or just for fun.

The Aero Club was formed in the fall of 2005 and began to recruit student pilots, as well as seasoned aircraft operators, to get the organization off the ground.

The club owns, operates and maintains a Cessna 172, single engine airplane.

Eric Stosius of Loysville presides as club president and Klaus Sperlich of Mifflintown is treasurer. Together, they are arranging different trips and educational opportunities that the community can get involved with in hopes that it will spark new interests in aviation.

"I've wanted to do this all my life, but I never thought it would happen. I never had the means to own and operate an aircraft myself, and neither have a lot of people," Stosius said.

"By forming this club, we have made it possible for the common person to go flying," Sperlich said. "We also take advantage of a local aircraft maintenance facility, Gullwing Aviation LLC, which allows us to learn more about the plane just by being involved when it's time for an inspection. 

"There are no flight instructors within the club, but there are local instructors available if someone wants to take up flying," Sperlich added. 

Over the years, the Cessna 172, tail number N4484L, has flown north as far as Toronto, Canada, and Buffalo, N.Y. It also has made countless trips to the Midwest and down to Florida.

In addition to day-to-day activities, the club helps those in need. On one trip in particular, Stosius and Sperlich flew to a small airport in New Jersey right after Hurricane Sandy to deliver coats, blankets and cleaning supplies. 

"I remember that Staten Island was a mess, so we landed in New Jersey and handed off everything that we brought to a local policeman who took it to a church organization in the area. It was surprising how much stuff we packed into that little plane," Stosius said.   

Locally, club members use N4484L to fly to the Mifflin County Airport, just outside of Reedsville, to attend the Experimental Aircraft Association's breakfast on the second Saturday of every month. There, pilots from all over the state meet and converse with other aircraft enthusiasts.

The breakfast also is open to the public. Members of the airport board invite those with an interest in aviation because it is a great opportunity to see different models of airplanes in flight. 

The Aero Club is looking forward to hosting its annual family picnic this fall, where pilots and aircraft enthusiasts also are welcome.

The Aero Club meets at the Mifflintown Airport, off of the Arch Rock Road exit of Routes 22/322, two miles above Mifflintown at 600 Airport Drive.

For more information about the club, readers may call Stosius at 461-5928 or visit the website,

Story and photo:

Klaus Sperlich is at the controls of a Cessna 172, N4484L over Juniata County farmland.

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