Sentimental Journey Fly‐In Announces Flight Training Scholarship to Honor Leah Jones

Leah C. Jones

Lock Haven, Pennsylvania, October 30, 2017‐ In March of 2017, Sentimental  Journey, the annual fly‐in that celebrates Piper Aircraft Corporation’s heritage in Lock Haven, Pennsylvania, along with Amy Gesch, Sentimental Journey member and fly‐in attendee, established a scholarship to aid those with a desire to learn to fly, in honor of Leah Jones, a former Piper manufacturing employee, ferry pilot, and longtime fly‐in attendee. We are pleased to announce the decision was made  to continue the scholarship annually. The scholarship, in the amount of $1000.00,  is open to high school seniors who are going into the field of aviation upon  graduation, as well as any high school student age 15 or older who is interested in  learning to fly an aircraft. To qualify, they must either be a resident of  Pennsylvania, or be a member/child or grandchild of a member of Sentimental  Journey to Cub Haven, and reside in the U.S.

“Celebrating and preserving Piper’s history in Lock Haven is the purpose behind the fly‐in,” commented Cal Arter, President of Sentimental Journey. “But part of  history is that it doesn’t stop being made‐the story is being written every day. Even though Piper no longer has facilities in Lock Haven, we have a rich history and we feel it’s only right to make sure tomorrow’s history is as rich as today’s. There’s no better way to do that than to invest in the pilots and mechanics of  tomorrow.”

Ed Watson, Vice President of Sentimental Journey, added, “Leah Jones has been one of our favorite fly‐in visitors for years. She lights up like a light bulb when she  gets to see young people at the fly‐in and when she sees her beloved Cubs come home. She’s an inspiration to us all, and we feel it is a perfect fit to establish this scholarship in her honor.”

Leah Jones, who went by the name Mae Coady, (her middle and maiden names), worked at Piper Aircraft in Lock Haven from 1946‐1951. During her time there, she worked in final assembly and ferried dozens of airplanes. She and a group of other Piper ferry pilots, including Bill Sparks, whose book she has brought to the  fly‐in for years, referred to themselves as the “Herd o’ Turtles,” referencing the modest cruise speeds of the humble Cubs Piper produced at the time.

The first recipient of this scholarship was Tyler Rispoli, of Altoona Area High School. Leah Jones surprised Tyler by personally presenting the award to him at  Sentimental Journeys award banquet, held on June 24, 2017. Tyler is currently attending Embry‐Riddle Aeronautical Institute.

Interested applicants should call 570‐893‐4200 or email

Applications are due on or before April 30, 2018.

Sentimental Journey is a non‐profit organization. Anyone interested in donating  to this scholarship, contact us at the above phone number.    

About Sentimental Journey:  Established in 1985, Sentimental Journey sets out to celebrate Piper Aircraft’s history in Lock Haven, Pennsylvania. Piper moved to Lock Haven from Bradford, Pennsylvania, in 1937, still under the name of the Taylor Aircraft Company. Later  that year, the company was officially renamed the Piper Aircraft Corporation. The  company remained under the guidance of the Piper family until 1969, though the  family remained deeply connected to Lock Haven. Under corporate ownership, Piper Aircraft left Lock Haven in 1984 and the fly‐in was established the next year  to bring former Piper employees and aircraft owners together. Kim Garlick, Executive Coordinator of Sentimental Journey, states, “Although we’ve had up to 700 aircraft attend on a good year, these days, the fly‐in attracts an average of  250‐300 aircraft annually, from as far away as California, Canada and Florida, all coming to Lock Haven to experience the “feel‐good” fly‐in event and to “kiss the ground the Cub was built on.”    

Contact:  Sentimental Journey to Cub Haven  P.O. Box J3  Lock Haven, PA. 17745  

Phone: 570‐893‐4200  Email:


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