Licensed pilot Samuel Brozina secures rare ERCO Ercoupe from Bucks County, Pennsylvania.
One of only around 1,000 ERCO Ercoupe aircraft still registered to fly, pilot and landscaping service foreman Samuel Brozina has landed himself something of a rare find, recently scooping up a good example of the low-wing monoplane aircraft from a seller in Quakertown, Pennsylvania. A particular fan of World War II warbirds, Brozina explains why, among civilian aircraft, the Ercoupe has always taken his fancy.
“Pass by any small airport and you’re bound to see numerous Pipers, Cessnas, and Beechcrafts, but you’re unlikely to see any Ercoupes,” suggests Brozina, a landscaping service foreman and licensed pilot from Millville, New Jersey.
Out of production for almost 50 years, the ERCO Ercoupe is today a rare find among American designed and built aircraft according to the aviation enthusiast and expert. Brozina is one of the very latest individuals to get their hands on an example of the now-much-sought-after postwar civilian aircraft, with fewer than 1,000 still registered to fly.
“It’s believed that fewer than 2,000 of the aircraft still exist,” explains the New Jersey native and Millville resident, “with less than half of those actually still registered to fly, sadly.”
The ERCO Ercoupe, says Brozina, remains relatively unknown, even among today’s pilots and aircraft enthusiasts.
Despite immense early popularity thanks to its affordability, sold by department stores and built in the United States until 1970, the Ercoupe was designed by the Engineering and Research Corporation, or ERCO. “It was first manufactured by ERCO shortly before World War II, following which several other companies continued its production,” reveals the expert. The final model, he goes on to point out, first flew in 1968 before production ceased two years later in 1970.
“Production of the plane, I believe, only ended when the bottom began to drop out of the civil aircraft market,” suggests the Ercoupe aficionado.
With such a small number still in existence, Brozina reckons that the Ercoupe—a one-time media sensation attracting more than 6,000 orders per year during the height of its popularity—is beginning to gain something of a cult following among a new generation of pilots and aviation fans.
A lifelong aviation enthusiast, Samuel Brozina was lucky enough to scoop his own ERCO Ercoupe from a seller in the Bucks County borough of Quakertown, Pennsylvania, less than 100 miles from his home in Millville, New Jersey. “I consider myself extremely lucky,” he beams.
Since acquiring his new aircraft, Brozina has even commissioned a specially designed and manufactured, one-of-a-kind Ercoupe jacket patch. “Jacket patches and proud pilots go hand-in-hand together, and I’m no exception,” he adds, wrapping up.