Lock Haven Plane May be Named Official State Aircraft

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LOCK HAVEN -- A plane that was once made in Clinton County is on its way to becoming the official plane of Pennsylvania. The announcement comes at the same time as an aviation event in Lock Haven. Newswatch 16 was at the opening ceremony of the Sentimental Journey.

A Piper J-3 Cub has taken off. It circled above the Piper Memorial Airport in Lock Haven during the 29th Sentimental Journey to Cub Haven where hundreds of Piper planes and a few others are down on the field.

"They're great planes and its history here in Lock Haven. It certainly gives all of us a connection to Lock Haven. It brings us back every year," said Bob Epting from North Carolina.

The Sentimental Journey's organizers said the Piper Aircraft Factory in Lock Haven began making planes including the J-3 in the 1930s. The J-3s were used during World War II and did not cost a lot to buy at the time. With its signature yellow color and black stripe, Cub's president said the J-3 flies above the rest.

“It is a Pennsylvania design and a Pennsylvania product," said Calvin Harter, the president of Sentimental Journey.

This week state law makers approved the Piper J-3 Cub as the official state aircraft, but the governor still has to sign the proposal to make it official.

"That's terrific. If I had it my way it would be the state plane for every state," said Epting.

"I think it's a wonderful idea. I think it would be one of the most positive things our governor has done so far," said Paul Welch, Lock Haven.

Sentimental Journey's president says Piper airplanes are a big part of Lock Haven's history, which they are proud to share.

"Comradely, they love Lock Haven. They love the area we live in. They love the friendly people that they've met. That's why they keep coming back," said Harter.

"It's tied to the economy and aviation as a whole and Lock Haven especially," said Craig Ehman from Canada.

The Sentimental Journey to Cub Haven will be held at the Lock Haven Piper Memorial Airport through this Sunday.