Marijampolė (then Kapsukas) Aviation Technical Sports Club started its activities on 1 April 1977. This date is considered to be the founding date of the Club. A pilot, instructor and parachutist of Suvalkiya origin, master of sports Gintautas Varnagirys, who was working in Kaunas ASC at that time, was offered to organize the establishment and activities of the Club.
Tens of masters of sports, winners of numerous competitions and record-holders were raised. The jumpers of ATSC participated in many competitions organized in the other towns of Lithuania. The Club competed in towns of Estonia, Latvia, Moldova and Hungary. It participated in the sports events in Leningrad, Brest, Mozyr, Simferopol and Alma-Ata.
Different events were organized at the Club’s airfield. Besides the jumping competitions, championships in extreme flight and aeromodelling were also held there. 600 hours were flown and over 9 thousand of jumps were made during one year.
In 1989 there were some changes in the management of the Club and G.Varnagirys was replaced by then platoon commander Č.Bendoraitis. The events of 1990 had a crucial effect on Marijampolė Club’s operation. Upon the demolition of SDAALR system, no system was established in Lithuania to finance aviation sports cubs. Re-established Lithuanian Aero Club carried out the functions of Lithuanian aero club coordinator. The fact that at such a difficult time the sport technical resources had to be moved from Tarpučiai airfield to a new place – Sasnava airfield due to the development of the town made the Club’s work even more difficult. With a shortage of funds for wages, fuel and the maintenance of the planes and stock, a difficult period for the Club began. They found an empty location in Sasnava. The Club’s President Č.Bendoraitis was looking for ways to get a foothold in the new airfield.
The number of flights and jumps was gradually decreasing. A part of the team with increasing difficulties and uncertainty grew apart from the activities of the Club. In 1993 the Club’s pilot Valdas Nevulis replaced the Aero Club’s President Č.Bendoraitis. The remaining in the Club people did their best to preserve existing vehicles, parachutes and other stock.
Anyway the Aero Club’s work didn’t cease. The members-enthusiasts of the Club did their best to fit up the administrative building and other premises, find means for partial repairs of AN 2 aircraft and to tackle other problem.
In 1998-2000 Eimutis Kailius managed the activities of the Club. During this period the flights were more frequent and there were more parachute jumps. A young parachutists group was prepared, which renewed and rejuvenated the team.
At the beginning of 2000 Alvydas Danilaitis replaced the Aero Club’ Presiden E.Kailius. Full of new ideas and energy the new head started looking for investments to create the Aero Club’s facilities , to restore regular flights and jumps and to improve work, sports and rest conditions. Increased staff in one or another way participated in the following projects: completion of the administrative building with a flight control tower, offices, rest rooms and training facilities, installation of plumbing system and building of a garage, play grounds and a café in the territory. The equipment of runways was finalised.
On 3 April 2004 the Ultralight Aircraft Pilot Unit (UAPU) was established in the Club. Since then, Marijampolė Aero Club has joined two links: parachuting and the UAPU.
The Club has purchased new parachute equipment: circular and wing-type training parachutes; a two-seater parachute designed for jumps with a passenger has been introduced. The instructors also had to improve their skills for work with the new equipment and the latter season has consolidated the instructor efficiency.
The facilities of the airfield are continuing to improve. A new holiday camp has been built for jumpers and other aviation lovers.
The activities of the Aero Club have been expanded: the Club provides training to parachutists, instructs the pilots of ultralight aircraft, the branch of B.Oškinis Children’s Flying School trains young glider flyers. The Club offers pleasure flights by plane, parachute jumps and show jumping during different events. The Airfield held several spectacular aviation festivals.
A new strategic development plan of the Club reaching 2017 has been developed, the plan foresees the development of the airfield facilities providing suitable conditions for light aviation flights and becoming attractive supporters of air tourism under cooperation with Marijampolė Municipality.