Meet Our Staff
Zach Hurst, Chief Flight Instructor
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 every day I get to learn something new about the people, the places, and the planes we fly and pass that knowledge on.
Sean Kirlin, Flight Instructor
While I’ve always been interested in aviation, it took me a long time to pursue my dream. I remember finding schematics online to build my own ultra-light when I was a teenager and even saving all of my earnings from a summer to do so, before my parents convinced me that I should probably wait until I was a bit older. Life had other plans, and I waited until I was a lot older! I spent 15 years building a career in corporate that was extremely rewarding, but aviation remained on my mind. Four years ago I took a discovery flight with a friend and was immediately hooked – I told my wife that for the second half of my career, this is what I wanted to do! I haven’t looked back since – sharing my passion for aviation and helping others achieve their dreams is the most fulfilling thing I’ve ever done, and hardly feels like work. I’m truly the example that it’s never too late to start the life you want!
Hoa Dao, Flight Instructor
My name is Hoa (pronounced: kwa). I started my aviation journey back in 2018 after an amazing discovery flight. I knew there had to be more to it than just cruising through the air. I decided then to make a career change and that I wanted to be a pilot! I enrolled into flight training just a few weeks after that discovery flight and I have been flying ever since! There are so many things in aviation that can be learned and achieved. The interesting part of it is that it can be fun, challenging and rewarding all at the same time. One of my favorite things about being a flight instructor is that I get to fly many different types of aircrafts. Then I get to share that with others while I am instructing. I like to meet goals but also enjoy the journey the that it comes with.
Nicholas Yacobucci, Flight Instructor
I have always had an interest in aviation ever since I was a kid and my parents gave me a book about different types of planes. I ended up going to college and graduating from Saint Francis University with a degree in Exercise Physiology and Health Science before ever believing that a career in aviation could be a possibility for me. Once i did a Discovery Flight, I knew aviation was what I was looking for! Since then, I did my initial training in Florida but earned my CFI here at ATS. Flying continues to allow me to have new experiences, travel to new places, and to make connections with people. I love being able to share the excitement of reaching goals and learning new things with students.
Jon Robbins, Flight Instructor
Hi, my name is Jon Robbins. Being the son of an aircraft mechanic, I grew up going to airshows fairly often and was totally mesmerized by the Blue Angels F18s. However, it wasn’t until later in life that I actually considered flying as a career. After working as an RN for about 10 years, I decided to jump in with both feet and pursue getting an office view up in the sky! I have really enjoyed the journey so far and I’m excited to have lots more flying in my future. To me, being a pilot is a great balance of manually operating a really fun machine and also being challenged mentally to complete the mission of a safe flight. I did all my training here at ATS, so it’s an honor to be working here helping other people achieve their flying goals!
Jon Sweigart, Flight Instructor
My name is Jon Sweigart. Since my first dirt bike at age of 5, I have loved operating equipment! Growing up on a farm, I had many opportunities to run new equipment and eventually, that love spilled into aviation. I call myself a Third Generation Flying Famer because both my father and grandfather were also pilots. I have been flying with my dad for as long as I can remember. In November 2015 I became a Private Pilot right here at ATS. Then in 2022 I finished my Certified Flight Instructor Rating here as well! I love the science of aerodynamics and weather and really enjoy mastering the aircraft. I feel I have a wide variety of flying and life experiences that will allow me to generate good relationships with my students. I look forward to watching my students grow in aviation just like I have!
Zach Millen, Flight Instructor
I have loved birds from a very young age and am fascinated by anything that can fly. While most of my flight training has come from right here at ATS, I also fly recreationally in a SR22 that my dad partners in, as well as in a flying club at the Smoketown Airport. I love the feeling of the wheels lifting off the pavement, the way the world looks from up above, and the challenge of completing the “perfect” flight (which has yet to happen). My goal as an instructor is to pass the gift and joy of flight on to my students.
Andy Fowkes, Flight Instructor
My name is Andy Fowkes. I have been interested in flying for as long as I can remember. My Father flew P-38s in WWII and that was probably the biggest influence that got me interested in aviation. When I graduated from college, I entered the Air Force as a Missile Launch Officer and though I always wanted to learn to fly, life seemed to get in the way. When I moved to Alaska, my wife helped us save enough money for me to get my Private Pilot License and its been non-stop ever since. I earned my Single Engine Sea, and Instrument ratings while living in Alaska, then I finished up my Commercial and Instructor ratings here in Lancaster County with ATS. I have always enjoyed teaching and coaching and being a CFI seems to go right along with that. I am excited to be a part of ATS and to help others earn their wings.
Jarrett Smith Jr., Flight Instructor
My name is Jarrett Smith. I fell in love with aviation as a child when my great-grandfather would tell me stories of his adventures as a pilot in the Army Air Corps during WWII. He was probably my greatest influence as I decided to pursue a career in aviation. I received an intro flight for my birthday at the age of 22 and I remember coming back home after that experience and saying, “Wow! I think I found what I want to do for the rest of my life!” I grew up in York County and I completed all of my flight training here at Aero-Tech Services, Inc. Before beginning my career as a pilot, I pursued a career in Music Education, and also worked in manufacturing as well. In the time that I have spent here at ATS, the entire team has always treated me like family, and I feel very honored to be a part of the team that helped me pursue my dreams in aviation. I love having the opportunity to serve and share my love of aviation with the community. I do enjoy teaching with every fiber of my being, and I always look forward to creating that spark in someone else that sent me headfirst into this wildly amazing and rewarding career.
Owen Reich, Flight Instructor
Like many others, my love for aviation started after a Discovery Flight here at ATS. Since that initial flight, I’ve been captivated with learning everything I can to better myself as a pilot, and an instructor. I am currently a student at EMU, finishing a LOM-Aviation Concentration Degree and have completed all of my flight training with Aero-Tech Services, Inc. Talking about aviation, teaching others, and spending time flying are a few of the reasons why I love my job as a Flight Instructor!
Stephen Crump, Flight Instructor
My name is Stephen Crump. When I was younger, I went to the Reading Air Show with my family and fell in love with the idea of aviation. I didn’t actually get any experience with aviation until my senior year of high school, when I obtained an internship at Reading Airport. I started my bachelor’s degree at Eastern Mennonite University and flight training at Aero Tech in 2020. My favorite part of aviation is the adventure and the fact that no day or situation is the exact same. I received my flight instructor certification in 2022 and I am excited to start training the future of aviation!
Mark McCowan, Multi Engine Flight Instructor
My name is Mark McCowan. Ever since I can remember I’ve always been in love with flying. As a kid, my dad would take me to Lancaster Airport to get breakfast every Saturday morning. Then we would be allowed to walk out to the commuter plane and check it out! Hey, it was the 80’s where we could still do stuff like that. When I was 18, I joined the Air Force and was an aircrew member on the KC-135R as a Boom Operator and served all over the world including Operations Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom. What I enjoy most about flying is the sense of freedom it gives. Especially when you are above the clouds, and you feel like you are the only one up there. I think what makes me different from other instructors is my ability to put students at ease and help them relax during stressful phases of their flying education. My favorite part of instructing is seeing students that I’m instructing attain the certificate, rating, or endorsement they were going for. I do have my CFI and may use it occasionally, but I mostly use my MEI.
Shaun Thacker, Charter Pilot
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
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.
Nathan Bagge, Charter Pilot
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
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.
Tom McIntire, Charter Pilot
My aviation journey started early. It began with flying model airplanes and progressed to helping my father work on airplanes at the local airport. Occasionally I got an airplane ride, but everyday I dreamt about becoming a pilot. I furthered my education and began a career as an aircraft maintenance technician, then earned a pilot’s license and additional ratings. The technical foundation has allowed me to enjoy flying more because I understand what keeps an aircraft safely in the air. As a charter pilot, my greatest fulfillment comes from providing a service that takes our customers wherever they would like to go, leave whenever they want to leave, and bring whoever they would like to take along!
Dale Wintersteen, Charter Pilot
My name is Dale Wintersteen. As a child I always wanted to join the military. After high school, I joined the Army and spent six years active duty with the 101st Airborne Division. After my time in the military, I was able to pursue my passion for Aviation. My first Discovery Flight was right here in Lancaster County with Aero-Tech Services. I decided to attend Middle Tennessee State University for their Professional Pilot Degree program where I received my Pilot Ratings. After graduation in 2016, I was lucky enough to get hired by Aero-Tech Services, Inc. as a Charter Pilot and haven’t looked back since. I love being able to do something so few get a chance to do, and providing a great experience for our passengers. Because of this job, I have seen many places I never would have even thought to go. I look forward to seeing where it may take me in the future. I’m proud to provide an enjoyable Charter experience one flight at a time!
Joe Wheatley, Charter Pilot
I have been fascinated with aviation ever since my grandfather took me flying when I was 5. I never really thought much about being a pilot while growing up even though I loved aviation. When applying to college I figured I would take a chance and maybe branch out instead of following in my fathers’ footsteps to become a police officer. I attended Embry-Riddle in Daytona Beach, FL and completed most of my ratings at school. After graduating I spent a few months travelling the country flying survey aircraft for cable companies. I then moved on to working as a supporting crew member at CAE helping clients train and pass checkrides in jet simulators. The summer before starting to work here at ATS, I flew skydivers in NJ. Aero-Tech Services, Inc. is the next step in my aviation career and I look forward to furthering my knowledge and experience with every flight I take.
Alex Burkholder, Charter Pilot
Hello my name is Alex Burkholder, as a native to Lancaster County, I enjoy the opportunity to serve those in the community through aviation. Most people are surprised to hear that I am the youngest of TEN children and also have a twin brother. I was introduced to aviation at a young age since my dad had an airplane as long as I can remember. I enjoyed recreational flying with him as a child and learned the basics of flight from him. I started working on my own license around age 16 at none other than Lancaster Airport. After a few years of flying as a hobby I eventually decided to pursue a career in aviation. My Wife and I moved to Florida for three years to finish my training and build some flying experience. We welcomed our first child, a boy, in Vero Beach Florida in January 2017. We are eagerly awaiting our second to arrive March 2019 at our new home in Newmanstown Pennsylvania. I enjoy working with the team at Aero-Tech and also the unique opportunities and challenges that aviation provides.
Caleb Miller, Charter Pilot
I was never interested in aviation or considered it until I went for a flight in my grandfather’s Bonanza, to which I owe him the biggest reason why I fell in love with aviation. After that flight at age 15, I decided to sign up for flight lessons during high school. While still in high school and flight training, I started my bachelor’s in Aviation with Liberty University Online. Being a Flight Instructor is very rewarding as you get to watch your students grow and overcome challenges they face while learning. I enjoy aviation because of the sights you get to see and the challenges you need to overcome! On top of that, not every day is the same and I have met some of the best people in the aviation industry. I am excited to be a part of the ATS team and provide quality service to the community and our customers!
Ervin Reinford, Charter Pilot
Hi, I’m Ervin Reinford. Being a pilot was a childhood dream of mine. Today, I have the incredible privilege of living that dream. In 2016, at the age of 22, I decided to begin flight training and started flying as a hobby. Progress on my licenses and ratings was steady, until February 2020 when I finished training with Commercial, Instrument, and Multi-Engine certificates. It is a pleasure to have the privilege of experiencing a wide variety of destinations and cultures in the course of my profession. I consider it an honor to be able to bring the unique opportunities and flexibility of aviation to our valued Aero-Tech customers!
Bronson Haller, Charter Pilot
Hi, I’m Bronson Haller. I have lived in Lancaster, PA my entire life and have been interested in aviation for as long as I can remember. I grew up flying remote control airplanes around the back yard and my parents gifted me a Discovery Flight for my 14th birthday. After that flight, I knew I wanted to be a pilot. When i was 16 years old i took my first flight lesson and completed all of my flight training here at ATS. I began working as a flight instructor, and now I’m living out my dream as a charter pilot. Having the opportunity to discover and explore new places and taking people wherever they want to go, captures everything great about being a pilot!
Paul Hadfield, Charter Pilot
My name is Paul Hadfield. I have had my head in the sky looking at airplanes ever since I can remember. When I was a child I spent a year in central Africa while my parents served in a missionary boarding school. This experience afforded me the opportunity to fly on many missionary airplanes, something I knew I wanted to do later in life. I grew up in Bucks County PA, then attended and graduated from Millersville University followed by West Chester University. My wife and I settled in Southern Chester County where I worked as a public school teacher for 12 years. The aviation bug bit me hard and we moved to Spokane Washington so I could train for missionary aviation with Moody Aviation. I served in Alaska as a missionary pilot and mechanic for 10 years. I now live in Lancaster County with my family, and i look forward to serving our clients to get them where they are going safely and efficiently.
Cienna Stover, Charter Pilot
I was born and raised here in Lancaster County. Along with being a pilot, I am also a licensed skydiver. If I am not flying an airplane, you can likely find me jumping out of one. I have always loved the sky and dreamed of being a pilot, but I had no idea how to make that a reality. The summer going into my senior year of High School, I was at the Lancaster airshow where I found the booth for the Eastern Mennonite University Aviation Program. I later applied and got accepted! In the span of 2.5 years, I went from no flight experience to earning everything from Private through Flight Instructor. I owe it all to the ATS and EMU program! I love sharing my passion for all things aviation with others, and I am excited for the opportunity to grow and learn alongside my students.
Amber Lynn, Customer Service
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.
Meredith Kauffman, Administrative Assistant
My name is Meredith Kauffman. I enjoy baking, reading, running, and going for walks with my family. One of my favorite things to do is just to be with our pets, Abner and Marty. My absolute favorite place to be is home, but Maine and Kansas are close seconds. I am not a pilot, nor do I have a desire to command an airplane, but I have learned my fair share about the flying world over the years being married to a pilot. I may not want to fly the plane, but I certainly do enjoy the utility of flying for travel. The best part of working at ATS is the people I get to work with and the people I get to meet. That’s saying a lot for an introvert like me!
Gabrielle Wotring, Charter Coordinator
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.
Stacy Morrissey, Charter Administrative Assistant
My name is Stacy, and I recently joined the ATS Charter Team so that i could start a new adventure! I was a little hesitant at first since I have no aviation experience, but I’m loving all the new and exciting things I am learning about the company, its employees and the aviation industry. I challenge myself each day to learn a new place that I never knew about and hopefully will get to visit someday because I love to travel. The sky is the limit for me!
JoAnnie Valle, Accounting Assistant
My name is JoAnnie. I have 26 years of administrative experience with a specialty in accounting for the last 15 years. I have worked in many fields including Construction and Fashion and am taking on a new adventure exploring the aviation industry working in the accounting department. I enjoy traveling, especially on airplanes, but most recently discovered the Cruise world! Working with the ATS team has helped me make new friends and expand my knowledge and I look forward to a new adventure each day here at ATS.
Amanda Bojako, Customer Service
My name is Amanda Bojako. I’m a mom to five and have lived in Lancaster County for over 30 years. I came to ATS in 2018 with no experience in aviation. I first started working here in customer service to help fund my husband’s flight lessons. Over the past few years my knowledge in aviation has come a long way and I have grown to love it! One of the reason’s I enjoy working at ATS is meeting new people and hearing their story!
Paige Denlinger, Customer Service
Hello, my name is Paige. I am currently enrolled in a local nursing program and set to graduate with my Bachelor’s in 2024. This makes me one of the youngest employees here at ATS, and they do not let me forget it! (All in good fun.) I have no aviation experience, which makes working for ATS very rewarding. Every time I come to work, I get to learn a little bit more about aviation each time. I enjoy getting to know the students as they move through their training programs. The staff I get to work with is also great! They are always willing to help and answer any questions I have.