North pavillion

North pavillion

The 7th Annual Triple Tree Fly-In near Greenville, SC, will be held from September 4th to 8th, 2013. This is not your port-a-potty and picnic table kind of fly-in. No, siree. As a veteran of five Triple Tree Fly-Ins, I enthusiastically recommend it for the southern hospitality of everyone involved. In rain and shine, I’ve had fun at Triple Tree.

First of all, the Triple Tree Aerodrome (SC00) has a grass runway (03/21) with a tower manned by FAA volunteers from Greenville, SC., for special events. Pat Hartness, retired CEO of Hartness International, bought the tower for $100 from a nearby military airfield and had it cut into quarters from top to bottom and reassembled on the Triple Tree airstrip. He won’t tell me how much that effort cost.

South pavilion overlooking lake

South pavilion overlooking lake

Secondly, surrounding the grass strip lies 400 acres of lush camp ground, two small lakes, a wooden pavilion on the south end of the field,  two wooden restroom buildings with granite counter tops, and a large masonry building on the crest of a hill overlooking the north lake that has a walk-in fireplace and kitchen manned by an army of friendly volunteers.

Owned by Pat and Marylou Hartness, the Triple Tree Aerodrome is best known for hosting radio-controlled airplane events that features one quarter-, one-third and even half-scale models. (The power to weight ratio is off the scale for these models.) The September fly-in is referred to as a full-scale model event.

Pilots from KGIF

Pilots from KGIF

Pat Hartness has a hangar full of radio-controlled airplanes on display at the south end of the field near the larger of the two lakes and the large pavilion where the Saturday night BBQ is held on a bluff overlooking the field. His full-scale toys are also kept there when he doesn’t need the hangar for concerts and parties.

Greenville Jet Center supplies a fuel trailer and a van for the event. The local chapter of the Civil Air Patrol volunteers manpower and a VHF Comm Radio for the control tower. Vendors offer food, souvenirs, and some airplane supplies.

Hands-on workshop

Hands-on workshop

And for those pilots who want hands-on workshops, come to the south pavilion behind the hangar. Wherever you go on the field or in the pavilions enjoy hangar talk, tall tales and the company of like-minded aviation enthusiasts.

Fishing, hiking, karaoke and cookouts around the lake make this a fun family getaway. On occasion the Fly-In offers a day tour to nearby shopping areas, and plantations.

Triple Tree Tower

Triple Tree Tower

Participants can camp by their airplanes at the north end of the field. The larger curved lake at the south end of the field can accommodate sea planes. Those wishing to bring campers or recreational vehicles can park near restrooms and showers at the south end of the field where there are limited power hookups. Tent camping and self-powered trailer camping falls under the trees at the north end of the field. Walking on the landing strip is not allowed for safety reasons. For those who prefer to stay in hotels, see the website for local listings. For more information, such as approach procedures and frequencies, hotels and camping info, see the website: http://www.tripletreeaerodrome.com/triple-tree-fly-in.php.

N661DJ

RV-6 N661DJ

Hubby and I will be arriving in a red and white RV-6, N661DJ. See you there!