Winner, winner

Winner, winner! Marlene Knobeloch of Butler gets a dinner.
Or maybe a lunch.
Knobeloch was selected as the winner of a $25 Serventi’s gift card from the Pittsburgh-Butler Regional Airport’s Facebook contest.
Thanks to everyone who participated. Look for more fun giveaways to people who like the airport’s Facebook page in the future.

Andy Allen joins Airport Authority

There was always a call to flight for Andy Allen. But as a boy, his ambition was to fly slightly higher.

“I wanted to be an astronaut,” he said.

Allen found his way into the pilot’s seat of an airplane by age 14. And 9,000+ piloting hours later he joins the Pittsburgh-Butler Regional Airport as the newest addition to the Butler County Airport Authority Board.

Allen, 39, grew up on the bicentennial seventh-generation Armstrong Farms in Saxonburg, and admits becoming a pilot was an untraditional ambition among his family members.

“I’m the odd ball,” he said.

Andy’s mother, Kathy, bought him his first flight lesson as a birthday gift, and he began flying about once a month at McVille Airport in rural Armstrong County.

He flew his first solo at 16 in a Cessna 152.

“McVille was an old potato farm,” he said. “It had a grass strip, and they had to move the round bales off the runway for me to solo.”

Throughout his days as a student at Shady Side Academy, the lure to aeronautics lingered. Andy recalls seeing a space shuttle take off as a school field trip, attending “Space Camp,” and proposing a trip to the airport for career day.

For his high school senior project, he earned his instrument rating.

After high school graduation, Andy earned his bachelor’s degree in Aeronautic Technology from Purdue University. While there, he interned at Kennedy Space Center, specifically studying human factors in shuttle maintenance.

“I still had a space bug,” he said.

Andy worked his way through college as a mechanic at a local airport, and in the process also earned his commercial pilot’s license.

In 2000, he became a commercial pilot with American Eagle Airlines, first based in San Juan, Puerto Rico.

His home base for flight would change more than a dozen times, including Chicago, Boston and Los Angeles.

But his home address returned to being the family farm around 2003, and remains there today.

In 2013, he stopped commercial flight to spend more time with his wife Kristan and children Drew, now 5, and Olivia, 4.

“It was time to put both feet into Armstrong Farms,” he said.

The family business is growing in phenomenal and unexpected ways. In addition to the 200-300 head of cattle, the homestead now includes a landscaping supply element, a real estate business and a bed and breakfast.

Andy and his mom now team up to offer a successful on-site wedding package that includes a ceremony, accommodations and a follow up bonfire.

“We host weddings,” he said. “When you have a wedding here, you are really having it at our house.”

But still, Andy loves to fly.

When he quit the airline industry he first bought a Maule that he later traded in for a Cessna, which he keeps at Pittsburgh-Butler Airport.

“This airport is such a great asset for the community, joining the board just made sense to me,” he said. “I love aviation and I’m invested in this community.”

Spring Open House

No fooling! Tenants are invited to visit the airport’s new offices located on the first floor of the Terminal Building and greet our newest Airport Authority Board Member, Andy Allen!

Stop in on Saturday, April 1 any time between 9 and 11 a.m.

We’ll have cookies, punch, and coffee, as well as the always enjoyable airport camaraderie. Recently acquired historic photos of the airport will be available for viewing.

Hope you can join us!

If you haven’t paid it by then, you can hand deliver your April rent at the Open House!  But if you’re mailing it (or your bank is) remember to update the address to  473 Airport Road, Suite 2, Butler PA  16002.

Town Hall Meeting with Metcalfe

PENN TWP – Residents are invited to attend a town hall meeting with State Representative Daryl Metcalfe (R-Butler) at the Pittsburgh-Butler Regional Airport, formerly the Butler County Airport.

The event is on Monday, Jan. 9, beginning at 8:30 a.m. It will be held in Serventi’s Restaurant, located on the second floor of the terminal building at 473 Airport Road, Butler, PA 16002.

Coffee and refreshments will be served.

Covering southern Butler County, the 12th Legislative District includes Adams, Clinton, Cranberry, Forward, Middlesex and Penn townships; and Callery, Mars, Seven Fields and Valencia boroughs.

Everyone is welcome. This is the first in a series of community events planned for the airport this year.