Triple Tree is a unique place created over many years by Pat and Mary Lou Hartness. From undeveloped land they wrestled out a beautiful airdrome in South Carolina.
It’s centerpiece is a 7,000 foot grass runway of Bermuda bent grass that is irrigated and maintained like a golf course green.
For one week each year the private airport is opened up to all things airborne. All persons are invited provided they can show a pilot’s license or some other direct connection to aviation.
Facilities include the pavilion shown above, plus showers, wet and dry camp sites, an educational center, aerodrome control tower, a museum/hangar, pilots lounge and other necessary infrastructure. Pat’s prime aviation interest has been model aviation although he also has a full scale mirror polished Spartan Executive and a P51.
These two birds put on an airshow Saturday afternoon.
Shade from the sun and hangar flying conversation – Triple Tree hospitality.
Food at TTA is plentiful and delicious. There is a different menu for the cookout every evening. Thursday is “pick out and grill your own steak” night with tasty fixings and chocolate cake. Yumm!
On Saturday we lined up for a pulled pork dinner near the top of the hill by the hangars. A quartet played old songs and friends caught Dolly and I dancing. We had worked as volunteers all week; Dolly helped in registration and I drove six person courtesy golf carts.
Karl is a retired engineer, financial officer, air charter manager, and computer consultant. He started on his aviation career in 1954 and likes to explain that back then the Private Pilots Written Exam was 50 True/False questions.
Karl has owned a 1964 Mooney Statesman, 1979 Cessna Skyhawk, and more recently a 1948 Temco-Globe Swift.
He holds FAA Commercial, Single Engine Land, Single Engine Sea, Multi Engine Land, and Glider certificates collected in 3,000+ flying. His Instrument Flight Instructor rating is lapsed. Karl is a member of the United Flying Octogenarians. He loves to tell hangar flying stories of how he has towed advertising banners at the New Jersey shore; flown night time charter around the Northeast; served as his son’s flight instructor; landed one night at Chicago O’Hare before it was commissioned; crossed the US at night following the old mountain top beacons before VORs were available; and more recently towed gliders for the Tampa Bay Soaring Society.
Karl has piloted 47 different models of aircraft; 32 single and 15 multi-engine. Currently he and his wife Dolly are completing a VANS RV7. They expect to have it flying in the spring of 2018.
Photo: The cockpit of Howard Hughes “Spruce Goose” in McMinnville, Oregon.
During the 2011-2013 summers Dolly and son Len with help from Karl, completed a studs out remodeling of an apartment that is to be a summer home in Michigan. In 2014, contemplating how bored he’d be without some project, Karl came to the conclusion that doing an aircraft build is age independent.