The founder and owner of MRFTI, Tim Epperhart, started flying as a hobby in 1994 in Cincinnati, never dreaming it would turn into a career. In 2001, he completed his Tailwheel Endorsement, Instrument Rating, Commercial Certificate, and his initial CFI certificate. He started teaching part time with Pro Aero at Butler County Regional Airport (KHAO) and remained there when Empower Aviation purchased the school in 2007. During his time at BCRA, he added his Instrument Instructor Rating, Multi-Engine Rating and Multi-Engine instructor ratings. In early 2008, he was promoted to Flight School Coordinator, and eventually was given the Chief Instructor position later that year. In February 2010, he accepted the opportunity to purchase the school's assets after it had moved up to Middletown Regional Airport (KMWO).
When asked how he felt after the purchase, he stated, "I've been given a great opportunity. We are located on a great airport. I have a great staff and we have a great program that can help people achieve their dreams of flying. I have been given a number of breaks and lots of help from my friends over the years to get me here. I haven't forgotten it. This is my chance to pay some of that forward."
He named the new school Middletown Regional Flight Training Institute (Hence, MRFTI). The locals at the airport simply referred to it as "Merf-tee," a nickname that stuck. In September, 2011, the company opened a satellite base at Springfield-Beckley Municipal Airport (KSGH), first offering flight instruction, then later offering Airplane Maintenance services in October, 2013. By this point, both of his sons worked for him, and the company had to hire extra help to keep going.
After many years of seeing students achieve their dreams and many aircraft remain airworthy, we hope to continue serving the aviation community for many more years to come.