Meet Our Staff

Zach Hurst, Chief Flight Instructor

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I was introduced to aviation on my 8th birthday when I received a joystick and Flight Simulator on a floppy disk! From my first real flight lesson, I had my sights set on a career in aviation as a flight instructor. That dream became reality at Aero-Tech Services, Inc. in 2008 after completing flight training on the windy plains of Kansas at Hesston College. It’s rewarding for me to help someone achieve a goal in flying that they’ve been eagerly working toward. I love instructing because everyday I get to learn something new about the people, the places, and the planes we fly and pass that knowledge on.

Abigail Mowrer, Flight Instructor

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I was born in Paoli, Indiana.  Growing up, I would tag along with my dad to the Philadelphia Airport to pick up seafood for the company he worked for.  I remember being so amazed as to how such a large object could soar through the skies.  I took my first flight lesson on my 19th birthday and have been hooked ever since!  I currently fly with ATS, and am working on reaching my personal goal of a career in aviation.


Chris Bernard, Flight Instructor

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Growing up in Lancaster County my first taste of flying was when I was 11 years old after my Father received his Private Pilot Certificate at Smoketown Airport. Since then my brother and I were hooked and after my Father bought his own airplane in the early 2000’s, we would spend countless hours flying all over the Northeast with him. After graduating with a Bachelor of Science in Meteorology from Millersville University, I found that I had graduated into a difficult job market and soon made the decision to follow my passion of working towards a career in aviation. My brother received his Private Pilot Certificate at Aero-Tech Services Inc. so I decided it would be a great place to complete my own training. I’ve completed Private Pilot, Commercial, and CFI training all at Aero-Tech and haven’t regretted it! Flying gives me an immense feeling of freedom and is an experience that can’t be put into words. As an instructor I love that I have the ability to help others achieve their dreams of becoming a pilot, and I hope to be able to share my passion with anyone else who has a love for aviation.

Michael Hornberger, Flight Instructor

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Growing up with my father who is an airline pilot, I had many opportunities to travel around the world. But through all of my travels, my favorite part was the flight. Everything from the moment I arrived at the airport to the time I stepped off the airplane amazed me. On his days off we would spend the afternoons at Smoketown Airport watching the airplanes take off and land and tag along for the occasional ride. I became fascinated with how the airplanes worked and decided at a young age that I wanted to be a pilot. The freedom and responsibility that it brings adds an extreme value to the experience. Fast forward to the present day and I am now a Flight Instructor with Aero-Tech Services teaching a new generation of pilots, and pursuing my dream to travel the world flying jets.

Mitchell Shenk, Flight Instructor

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Growing up in Lancaster County, I did not have any ties to aviation at a young age. My love for aviation began when I took a trip to Australia in 2010. The idea that such a large aircraft can be in the air for over 16 hours amazed me and I immediately fell in love with it. I then acted on my curiosity of flying after graduating high school and earned my private certificate here at Aero-tech in 2015. After earning my private certificate, I attended Liberty University and graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Aeronautics, along with my instrument and commercial certificates. Since I began flying I have never had any doubt in my mind that this is what I want to do as a career. I love the freedom to be able to go anywhere and the opportunities for travel that aviation provides. I enjoy sharing my passion with others as a flight instructor and helpings aspiring pilots achieve their dreams of taking the skies on their own.

Shaun Thacker, Flight Instructor

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I’ve been fascinated with flying for as long as I can remember. At the age of 13 I joined the air cadets in my home country of Wales, with the dream of becoming a fighter pilot like the movie Top Gun. While in air cadets I had the opportunity to experience both a glider and a powered flight. The instructor said I had a natural talent and encouraged me to work towards my Private Certificate. After pleading with my parents and getting a part time job, I was able to solo at the age of 16 and get my license to fly at 17, before I could even drive a car! After graduating high school, I made the decision to move to the United States from Wales and finish my flight training in Florida where it would be more affordable. I spent three years flying and making many memories. I particularly enjoyed a flight to the Bahamas! This is also where I meet my wife Angie. After a few years of traveling, we settled down in her hometown of Mechanicsburg and I finished my CFI training right here at Aero-Tech Services, Inc. I never really imagined myself being a teacher, but it’s a great feeling to listen, guide and help people along the same path I had to travel down.

Matt Kauffman, Chief of Operations

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As a child I was fascinated with anything motorized, especially with the airplanes that would fly over our house. After my first flight lesson in an Aeronca Champ I knew I wanted to learn how to fly. I did most of my flight training right here at Aero-Tech Services including ATP and Helicopter ratings. I began flying professionally in 1994 and after a short time in corporate aviation and another season as an airline pilot I’ve been flying at Aero-Tech Services since 2000. I appreciate the value that aviation brings to the lives of so many and I enjoy the challenges and adventure of traveling to new destinations. I am thrilled to be a part of helping our customers and employees achieve new milestones in their aviation journey.

Clayton Stoltzfus, Charter Pilot

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I was exposed to aviation at a young age when I traveled with my parents to visit mission stations in Central America and Haiti.  I would always stop by the cockpit to visit with the crew and look at the fascinating array of instruments and switches.  I was intrigued by the complexity and power of the airplanes and by the beauty of flight.  As a teenager I joined a few of my friends on a visit to Aero-Tech’s flight school in Smoketown, PA.  I signed up for training and after acquiring my commercial, multi-engine, and CFI ratings I ended up working for ATS as an instructor and charter pilot for several years.  I left the company in 2004 and flew for MAF in Haiti for a little over two years.  After returning to the United States I had the opportunity to build charter and management experience at a few local operations before returning to Aero-Tech Services in 2017.  My goal is to contribute to the team and culture here and help develop the charter program.

Nathan Bagge, Charter Pilot

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The ability to bring distant people and places within reach, the opportunity to experience a perspective we’ve had for only a little more than a century, the thrill and satisfaction of operating a unique piece of machinery: these are all reasons many of us enjoy flying and I’m no exception. I was first introduced to airplanes through repeated travel to and from my childhood home in Kenya. As a kid, I loved driving any kind of vehicle I could get my hands on. This and plenty of exposure to airplanes led me to pursue a career in aviation which started with training at Letourneau University. Since then, I’ve worked as a pilot and/or aircraft mechanic in rural Alaska, Washington, Virginia, and now Pennsylvania with Aero-Tech. I love the rewards and challenges flying provides and seeing firsthand how an invention like the airplane can serve both our local and global community.

Derlyn Martin, Charter Pilot

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My name is Derlyn and I was born and raised in beautiful Lancaster County! When I was in my early 20’s I volunteered with an international mission organization that gave me the opportunity to travel around the world. Through my travels I noticed a great need for airplanes and pilots to access remote areas that have no road systems. Upon returning home from that educational experience I soon began my training here at Aero-Tech Services, Inc. It has been a wonderful journey working from Private Pilot to Commercial Pilot and now Flight Instructor. During my training at Aero-Tech Services, Inc. I met many wonderful people along the way who shared the same passion as me and they are now serving in places like Brazil, Alaska and Africa! In Spring of 2016 I became part of the ATS team and I am looking forward to helping others to fulfill their dream of becoming a pilot. I feel blessed to be able to share the freedom that being a pilot offers with my students and watching their skills grow with each lesson.

Amber Lynn, Office Manager

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I am the office manager here at ATS. While working as a bank teller in 2007, one of my customers wearing “Top Gun” sunglasses approached me and asked if I would like to try something different. Having no aviation background, I was a little nervous but found the subject challenging and exciting. I have not been disappointed in my decision! On my very first day I practiced the aviation alphabet and have continued to learn more each day. I truly enjoy the relationships I’ve made here and watching people grow as pilots.

Gabrielle Wotring, Administrative Assistant

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My name is Gabrielle Wotring but most people call me Gabby! I became a part of the ATS Team through a Facebook Ad for an Administrative Assistant. Although I didn’t know much about aviation, I thought the position would be a great way to challenge myself and grow as an individual. I feel very lucky to have been given this opportunity and I am learning something new each day. I enjoy sharing my adventures at the airport with my family and look forward to my future here at Aero-Tech Services, Inc.

Kristie Cliff, Accounting

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Originally from the Midwest, I moved to Lancaster county with my family in 2011. My husband and I, along with our two children, often find ourselves enjoying one of the many local tourist attractions available in the area. One of our favorites is Indian Echo Caverns! Although I am new to the aviation industry I have been working in finance for years! Most of my work may be behind the scenes, but don’t hesitate to say hello if you see me buried under some papers at the office.