Palmetto Aviation South Carolina Aviation Association
2021 Fall Edition
Governor McMaster Signs S.675 Into Law During SC Aviation Week
IN THIS ISSUE … Three Magic Rules Bamberg County Airport If You Build It
SC Aviation Association Update Terry Connorton, SCAA President
CONNECTING THE LOCAL CITY BUSINESS TO THE LOCAL AIRPORT BUSINESS Yes! You can do “B2B” at your local airport. Not only do you need a variety of services at an airport, such as rental cars, hotels, and restaurants, but you also need anything else your local business can provide. Customer loyalty programs for small airports can be an inexpensive way to increase sales and customer retention.
Courtesy John Gallant
You can develop a loyalty program that suits your airport and budget. As an airport manager, you might think you do not have the resources to create one, but an inexpensive rewards program will build a better relationship with your customers while improving fuel sales.
MEET 19-YEAR-OLD HANNAH BERMUDEZ “Hi, I’m Hannah. I am an aviation enthusiast, with my sights set high in the sky. Quite simply, I love to ﬂy! To help earn money for ﬂying lessons and a college degree program, I came across an excellent opportunity to make and learn. Hannah’s Custom Gifts is my business, and I create custom themed gifts targeted to the aviation industry. These special thank yous go a long way to keep and develop new clientele. I love showing my clients how unique gifts can help promote their businesses. Happy Flying!”
Hannah I asked Hannah to help me with my airport rewards program, where we give out gift bags containing local business coupons and discounts when new visitors ﬂy in. When the visitor makes a large fuel purchase, the gift rewards become more signiﬁcant with local products. These levels of gift baskets go from Bronze to Silver to Gold to Platinum. All the products are from local businesses, John Gallant including wine and food products. Visitors can either enjoy these gifts or take them home to their Courtesy families as souvenirs from Spartanburg. Over the last 16 months, we have awarded more than 200 gift bags. More importantly, ﬁrst-time visitors have become repeat customers due to the beneﬁts of the rewards program. On a larger scale, Airports have become more like shopping malls, reinventing themselves to beneﬁt from their captive audience. Smaller general aviation airports can evolve to become more than a place to hang out and drink local coffee; we can enhance a visitor’s experience by integrating local community products. When businesses with the community connect with the airport, business owners become advocates who appreciate the airport because they now have a new outlet for their products. Hannah will achieve her dream to become an airline pilot in the not-too-distant future. Hopefully, her marketing and sales experience here will beneﬁt her career as she takes to the skies. The Spartanburg rewards program will continue and grow and develop with another young person who has aspirations in aviation. One day, Hannah’s Custom Gifts may become a nationwide gift shop featured in airports throughout the country, offering a wide range of local products and, in doing so, creating more airport advocates.
SC Aeronautics Update
James Stephens, Executive Director The last time I had the opportunity to communicate through Palmetto Aviation, I wrote about the anticipated impacts of Senate bill 675 (S.675) and that it would impact future funding of the South Carolina airport system. This time, I get to promote new programs and funding levels that have been made possible by the passage of the bill. First, I’d like to thank each of you for your part in promoting aviation, understanding the needs of your local airport, and communicating those needs to your local delegations. I’d like to thank the SCAA Board of Directors and staff for their work to promote the needs of aviation across the state, and for their foresight in hiring a lobbyist to assist. Finally, I’d like to thank the Commissioners from the South Carolina Aeronautics Commission who had their own means and methods of communicating. Ultimately, because of the efforts of all, South Carolina’s airport system funding will be stabilized, new programs for airports will soon be added, and in the future our airport system will be improved. In my last article, I mentioned revenues related to COVID impacts. Some of the negative impacts are still being felt and will be felt in the coming years. However, one area where a negative impact was anticipated has turned out to be a record-breaking year. Fuel sales tax revenues during this past ﬁscal year proved to be the greatest amount of fuel revenue that the State Aviation Fund (SAF) ever experienced. Revenues for fuel were initially projected to be around $2.5 million, but actual deposits were nearly $3.5 million. Because of the passage of S.675 and the increased fuel tax revenues, the South Carolina Aeronautics Commission will be providing ﬁnancial support to all airports in South Carolina. We will be providing ﬁnancial support for primary and secondary runways that are not eligible for federal funding programs. We have provided FOD sweepers for all publicly-owned public use airports, and we’re continuing to evaluate other ﬁnancial needs that our airports have. We’ve started a new ﬁscal year at SAF funding levels that we’ve never experienced, and we’re ready to assist our airports with capital and maintenance investments that allow for increased capacity and longer life expectancy. However, as a state, we’re not exactly where we need to be. Now, we must continue our partnership to promote investments at our commercial service airports so that our state, our respective regions, and our individual communities have the air service necessary to recruit new business, new industry and support community growth. Currently, the Aeronautics Commission is working with the SC Council on Competitiveness to develop a plan that enlightens the legislature on comparisons between South Carolina’s commercial airports and others within the southeast region, while making a call to action to support our commercial airport needs. As always, as aviators, we’re part of a tight knit community that understands airport roles within our state, and this understanding enables us to support the needs to those that go overlooked whether large or small. I ask once again that you support aviation when called upon soon. We’ve had success this past year, but it’s not yet time to engage the autopilot. Blue Skies!
PROJECT DISCOVERY TOURS PALMETTO STATE
Terry Connorton (left) and Les Singleton (right) share a laugh during Project Discovery.
Project Discovery ended at Greenville-Spartanburg International Airport, with a water salute courtesy of the GSP Fire Department.
SCAA President Terry Connorton marked the 20th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks by embarking on Project Discovery, a unique ﬂight to every publicly owned, public-use airport in the Palmetto State. From Sept. 11-17, Connorton and SCAA member Les Singleton ﬂew to S.C. airports, recording their travels. Connorton plans to share a video compilation of South Carolina’s airport system. “This is one of those trips that would be on any pilot’s bucket list,” Connorton said. “This mission is two-fold – the ﬁrst is to mark this somber anniversary; the second is to land at all South Carolina airports to mark the impact general and commercial aviation has on the state’s economy.” “Airports are gateways, often providing the ﬁrst impression of a community,” he said. “Even among the changes to the aviation industry as a result of 9/11, South Carolina’s public-use airports continue to be integral to bringing new industry and jobs to South Carolina.” Visit the SCAA online member center to view a photo gallery from the tour.
SCAA HOSTS FIRST-EVER SAFETY & INNOVATION FAIR DON’T GET CAUGHT UNAWARE!
LEARN ABOUT NEW & INNOVATIVE AIRPORT SAFETY PRODUCTS & SERVICES
WHEN? November 5 • 10am - 3pm WHERE? SC Aeronautics Commission Hangar WHAT?
COST?? Page 4
West Columbia, SC
South Carolina Aviation Association and South Carolina Aeronautics Commission are hosting an Airport Safety & Innovation Fair. A select group of exhibitors will provide 20-minute education sessions about products and services they offer to enhance safety at your airport. Participating vendors have been selected because of the advanced products they offer. Airport Managers and their team members responsible for maintaining airport safety and operations are invited to attend. Registration includes educational sessions, a contact list of participating vendors and their supporting presentations, and lunch. SCAA members can register for $50, and the non-member rate is $100. A limited number of vendor spaces are available.
REGISTER ONLINE at scaaonline.com Questions? Call SCAA at 877-359-7222 or email email@example.com
STATEWIDE FOREIGN OBJECT DEBRIS (FOD) PROGRAM BY KEAT PRUSZENSKI, AKA THE GOD FODDER Further to the article: “Making South Carolina a Safe Place to Land” regarding FOD (Foreign Object Debris) published in the Spring 2020 issue of this newsletter, it is pleasing to communicate that we are moving forward with a state-wide program! The venue for the roll-out of this is the SC Airport Safety & Innovation Fair scheduled for Nov. 5 at South Carolina Aeronautics Commission in West Columbia. Normally a successful program requires initiative and support from airport leadership, and that is precisely who will be in attendance at the event.
A BRIEF RECAP
FOD has proven to be a hazard to safety-of-ﬂight worldwide. This is a never-ending threat. However, effective FOD control programs have demonstrated a positive record of reduction of aircraft accidents, incidents and damage. According to studies, the costs associated with FOD threat has been enormous. Despite a highly effective FOD control program at Greenville Downtown Airport (GMU), debris is still collected from runways, ramps and taxiways regularly. Although GMU continually improves, surveillance continues. This ongoing safety battle requires vigilance. Pictured right is a statistical tracking chart regarding FOD collected at GMU. The green line represents prior average collected per week. The blue line is visual sightings relative to the green line.
The goal is to encourage as many South Carolina airports as possible to participate in a FOD prevention and removal program. This will positively impact affect safety and can be used to attract aviation industry to our state. The South Carolina Aeronautics Commission has procured a FOD sweeping device to help clear debris from airport operating surfaces. This is a signiﬁcant and effective tool airports can use to remove most FOD. GMU and Spartanburg Downtown Memorial airports have both enjoyed impressive results from FOD sweeper use. (See the chart above for trending at GMU after the spike in red, indicating the ﬁrst FOD sweeper application.) These devices are available at no cost through application from the South Carolina Aeronautics Commission. This new statewide FOD program has 5 Echelon Levels, and each airport is responsible for self-reporting their activities.
Echelon 1 Echelon 2 Echelon 3 -OREchelon 4 Echelon 5
• Designate a FOD boss (champion) • Develop a local FOD written program. • Procure and routinely use a state offered FOD sweeper. • Conduct a FOD walk staffed by local airport operators and support personnel • Conduct periodic FOD inspections and recovery (logged/documented) • Establish a metric (e.g. FOD/1000 meters square) • Establish a statistical run-chart showing data from periodic inspections
Airport participation at any level will be published in the quarterly SCAA newsletter, and this author volunteers to help airports establish metrics and statistical charts as outlined in echelons 4 and 5. As this safety program builds, this information should encourage aviation activities by out-of-state operators as they visit, operate and explore opportunities in South Carolina, as well as promote aviation safety within the state. If successful, this program should become a model for safety on a nation-wide basis. Further information regarding this safety endeavor can be obtained by contacting the SCAA Safety Committee at (877) 359-7222. Airports are encouraged to initiate a program as soon as possible at whatever level is feasible for their facility. I am willing to assists airports who endeavor to engage in this important safety program, and my contact information can be obtained from SCAA, or through the Aeronautics Commission. I look forward to program progress reports in this newsletter as airports engage in the program. The following airports have FOD Sweepers during SC Aviation Week, achieving Echelon 2 of the Satewide FOD Program: Beaufort Executive, Fairﬁeld County, Greenville Downtown, Hartsville Regional, Orangeburg Municipal, Santee Cooper Regional. Page 5
Three Magic Rules
By Lt. Gen Tom Waskow, USAF (Ret.) Bang, bang, bang … it felt like I had hit a Giant Sequoia tree. My Eagle shuddered and yawed noticeably to the right, and the Gs were building. Additionally, I was concerned when I saw the 25-foot ﬂame shoot out of my right engine. My ﬁrst thought was, this is not good. These Pratt & Whitney F-100-100 tubofan engines are supposed to work at all power settings, particularly when going from stage 3 to stage 5 in afterburner at 480 knots. “Eagle 01, you are on ﬁre,” was the timely call I heard from my wingman.
Safety Update Provided by Leo Berube, CFI, CFII, MEI SCAA Board of Directors FAASTeam Representative Welcome to Part 2 of our aviation safety update. Good inﬂight habits consist of effective trafﬁc scanning, critical task prioritization and overall situational awareness (SA). Please join us now in an actual NATO TACEVAL ﬂight (NATO’s evaluation of the U.S. Air Force combat ability in Europe). Strap into your McDonnell Douglas F15-B Eagle. Tighten your ﬁve-point safety harness, and ﬂy this mission with Command Pilot Tom Waskow, Lt. General USAF (Ret).
Gee, thanks for the heads up, I thought. I immediately pulled the right throttle out of burner, back to idle, then used the ﬁnger lift to move the throttle over the detent to the OFF position. Good so far, I thought. Next step was to recover from a 60-degree left turn with my nose just past vertical, as I was completing the ﬁnal stages of a low-to-high stern conversion against my worthy adversary, a German Air Force (GAF) F-4E. My wingman and I had just used the ground clutter to position ourselves low and behind our two adversaries, and since it was a NATO TACEVAL (NATO’s evaluation of the U.S. Air Force combat ability in Europe), our simulated kill AIM-9P shots would be a very good thing for our rating following the inspection. The only problem was I was nose high at 5 Gs, my airspeed was decreasing and I had only one engine. Since I had GAF Major Jurgen Worms in the back seat of my F-15B, I brieﬂy worried that we would get downgraded in tactical performance. Then my years of training kicked in, and I began my Emergency Procedure response. Step One – Maintain Aircraft Control. OK, this one is easy. I cut the throttle off. This put out the annoying ﬁre to save the engine. If the fan turbine inlet temperature goes over 1000 degrees, the core of the F-100 would shatter and melt down. Simultaneously, I bring the nose to the nearest horizon and recover to level ﬂight. I make the “Knock it off” call to terminate the engagement due to the emergency and then wind the clock.
Step Two – Analyze the Situation and Take Proper Action. In the early days of the F-15 employment, the Pratt & Whitney engines had generally been reliable except for the history of stall/stagnations in critical phases of ﬂight, generally associated with afterburner selection at high Gs and decreasing airspeed. My next challenge was to assess the ﬁre and multiple warning lights in the cockpit. MacDonnell Douglas had done an excellent job designing a ﬁghter that could operate on one engine due to combat damage or an in-ﬂight emergency. The left engine was operating normally and the right engine was windmilling which provided hydraulics and electrical power to my basic systems. Following my reset of the Control Augment System (CAS), conﬁrmation of sufﬁcient hydraulic power and a degraded, but sufﬁcient electrical bus operation, I was ready to head for home. Step Three – Land as Soon as Practicable. Although the weather at Bitburg Air Base in the Eifel region of Germany was IFR at 900-foot ceiling and three miles, I had made the ILS recovery many times and was comfortable with my return to the home of the 36th Tactical Fighter Wing. The only annoying feature was the heavy breathing of Major Worms in my back seat. Since I was used to single seat operations in the F-15A, sharing oxygen was new to me. As an F-104 GAF pilot, Major Worms wasn’t used to shutting down an engine in ﬂight and his hyperventilating in the back seat was a bit distracting. Page 6
Lt. Gen Tom Waskow, USAF (Ret.)
Two F-15s over the Eifel region in Germany.
During recovery, Jurgen began to relax as I slowed the Eagle down to below 250 knots to lower the gear at about 10 miles. Although I had practiced this approach in training to achieve Mission Ready status, this was my ﬁrst actual single engine approach. As is always the case, the unforeseen gremlins began. Following gear extension, the airspeed slowly decreased and the windmilling RPM of the right engine decayed below 18 percent. Then it happened: I felt a noticeable airframe thump and the Master Caution light illuminated with a host of associated warning lights on the warning panel, and the ﬂight controls shuttered. I immediately looked at the warning panel and saw that the right generator and right hydraulic system had dropped ofﬂine. After resetting the CAS and winding the clock again, I realized that the decaying right engine RPM was the culprit and the thump that I had felt was the hydraulic, electric and fuel crossover features of the Eagle operating as advertised. After a normal landing and postﬂight, Major Worms thanked me for the ride, and I never saw him again. My message in this missive is about Emergency Procedure (EP) response. In Air Force Undergraduate Pilot training, we were taught the fundamentals of EP response. The concept was based on the three golden rules of safe ﬂying: Maintain Aircraft Control; Analyze the Situation and Take Proper Action; and Land as Soon as Practicable. This approach to ﬂight safety is based on two fundamentals––bold face response and systems knowledge. Bold face response is a learning technique that requires the pilot to memorize verbatim the steps in an emergency procedure that must be performed immediately. These procedures are critical in the initial phases of an emergency. They need to be completed without hesitation to deal with the situation. In an aircrew checklist, the procedures are printed in bold letters to distinguish them from the noncritical checklist steps. In the GA community memorizing the safe glide speed immediately after engine failure or safe operating speed after engine failure in a multi-engine airplane are examples of bold face responses. Aircraft systems knowledge is equally as important. In the event of multiple emergencies, pilots are required to exercise sound judgment in prioritizing actions and analyzing the situation to determine the best course of action. In the tactical ﬁghter community, our daily brieﬁngs always began with weather and NOTAMS, threat of the day and systems failure response of the day. It was during our discussion of single engine failure the month before my stagnation that I discussed the systems that would fail with an engine windmilling. The part that we missed was about systems that would fail with a seized engine. After my stagnation, I was able to add to the discussion about the loss after windmilling stopped. A couple of thoughts for you. First, when you make your $100 BBQ run, during pre-departure preﬂight do you think about the bold face procedures that apply to your airplane? Although they are not cited in the POH, you might want to generate your own. Second, when you practice your emergency response procedure, do you go through the checklist and actually touch the switches and knobs required to respond to a deteriorating situation? And third, have you developed your pre-takeoff mantra for the three critical situations that could face you in the next minutes – engine failure with room to abort, engine failure at an altitude that would not permit return to the runway and engine failure at an altitude that will permit return to an emergency landing? The three golden rules are for your consideration. Oh, by the way, wind the clock? That is my way of saying relax, take a second to analyze your progress during an emergency and breathe. Eagle 01, out. Page 7
South Carolina Aviation Week August 15-21, 2021
In August, SCAA and South Carolina Aeronautics Commission joined together for yet another successful SC Aviation Week August 15 – 21, 2021. Airports across the state celebrated legislative accomplishments, highlighted economic development through airport improvement and expansion, and demonstrated a commitment to education, connecting communities to local airports.
Spartanburg Downtown Memorial Airport Bill Signing with Governor McMaster
Courtesy of the Ofﬁce of the Governor, State of South Carolina
Governor Henry McMaster joined legislators, city and county ofﬁcials, South Carolina Aeronautics Commissioners, airport personnel, and members of the public and press to discuss the important role airports and the aviation industry have on our state’s economy. Senate President Harvey Peeler remarked on the future development this legislation makes possible.
Senator Josh Kimbrell wrote S.675 and championed the bill in the Statehouse.
James Stephens discussed how S. 675 impacts the state airport system.
Terry Connorton welcomed attendees to Spartanburg Downtown Memorial Airport.
Courtesy of John Gallant
Gov. McMaster performed a ceremonial signing of Senate Bill S.675, which directs all airline property taxes to the State Aviation Fund over a two-year period and increases funding opportunities for the state’s four largest commercial airports.
Courtesy of John Gallant
Legislators that came to Spartanburg to celebrate S.675 included: (left to right) Rep. Roger Nutt; Rep. Travis Moore; Rep. Rita Allison, Chairman of the House Education and Public Works Committee; Gov. Henry McMaster; Lt. Gov. Pamela Evette; Senate President Harvey Peeler; Terry Connorton, SCAA President; Sen. Scott Talley; Sen. Josh Kimbrell; and Rep. Max Hyde. Page 9
Sumter County Airport – Airport Showcase and Ribbon Cutting
Rep. Murrell Smith; Bill Lynam III, Chairman, Sumter County Airport Commission; James T. McCain, Jr., Chairman, Sumter County Council; Greg Thompson, Chair, Sumter County Economic Development Board; Johnathan Bryan, Sumter County Airport Liaison; Janson and Tamara Finkbeiner, Co-Owners of South Carolina Aeronautics Services; James Stephens, Executive Director, SC Aeronautics Commission; David Merchant, Mayor, City of Sumter; Jeff Knauer, Owner, On Eagles Wings; and Rep. David Weeks cut the ribbon to ofﬁcially welcome SCAS to Sumter County Airport during SC Aviation Week.
Janson and Tamara Finkbeiner pose with their family in front of the new home of their business, South Carolina Avionics Services.
Residents, employees and elected ofﬁcials came together to celebrate the economic impact of Sumter County Airport makes throughout the county.
Newberry County Airport – AMT of the Year
Aviation Maintenance Technicians are integral to the aviation industry, keeping aircraft operational by performing repairs, inspections and scheduled maintenance. Clamp Aero owner William “Bill” Clamp was named the 2021 South Carolina Aviation Maintenance Technician (AMT) of the Year by SC Aeronautics Commission and SCAA at Newberry County Airport. “Mr. Clamp has been maintaining and repairing aircraft in South Carolina for 59 years,” said South Carolina Aviation Association President Terry Connorton, who presented the award to Clamp. “For nearly six decades he has gone out of his way to assist aircraft owners to ensure work was done to FAA and manufacturer speciﬁcations, as well as to the satisfaction of the customer.” Clamp will be nominated for the FAA SC FSDO AMT of the Year award.
Additional Events Anderson Regional Airport commemorated its new terminal building. Beaufort County Executive Airport hosted an open house. CRAFT Flight Training and Charleston Southern University hosted a liftoff event in celebration of their Part 141 Certiﬁed Pilot School ribbon cutting. Fairﬁeld County Airport scheduled discovery ﬂights with high school seniors. Greenville Downtown Airport hosted a FOD walk and DPE Forum/safety seminar. Hampton County Airport hosted a FOD Walk, where the local high school JROTC assisted. Rock Hill-York County Airport hosted the 2nd Annual Tour de York Aerial Parade. SC Historic Aviation Foundation hosted and open house at Jim Hamilton/L.B. Owens Airport. Summerville Airport hosted the Lowcountry Aerospace Academy LIFT camp. Triple Tree Aerodrome hosted the South Carolina Breakfast Club. Thank you to SCAA Aviation Week Committee Members for planning a productive 2021 S.C. Aviation Week: Denise Bryan, Terry Connorton, Bud Hawk, Barbara Clark, Danny Lucas, James Stephens Page 11
Corporate Spotlight: WK Dickson IF YOU BUILD IT… “If you build it, they will come,” is a famous quote from the movie Field of Dreams. The quotation has become a business mantra, meaning that success will soon follow if you make the investment and build something. However, as many businesses have discovered, success isn’t automatic just because you build something. It takes a combination of factors – demand, planning, funding, timing – coming together to pay off in any meaningful way. Over the past few years, cargo growth at Greenville-Spartanburg International Airport (GSP) has exploded by 118%. A recent news release reported that the airport set a cargo handling record, which has catapulted GSP to the 20th busiest airport in the United States in terms of international cargo by weight. Investment needed to be made in their cargo area to continue to accommodate this growth. Additionally, the ability to hold more than two Boeing 747-800 wide-body parking positions quickly became a important part of the airport’s ability to handle their additional growth. Timing proved to be critical as the planning began to lay the groundwork and procure funding. On March 23, 2018, the Airport Improvement Program (AIP) 2018-2020 Supplemental Appropriations bill was signed, paving the way for $1 billion in additional discretionary grants. Obtaining a portion of this funding was critical to moving the cargo project forward. At the 2017 SCAA Annual Conference, GSP’s President and CEO Dave Edwards and COO Kevin Howell started a preliminary discussion with the FAA, facilitated by WK Dickson’s Phil Cannon and Paul Smith, concerning their new cargo apron project. This discussion helped guide GSP’s vision of cargo growth at the airport. A follow-up meeting was scheduled with the ADO before their annual discretionary planning meeting in April 2018. With Cannon’s long history at FAA, he knew how to make the best case for this project. He reviewed the project with his former ADO colleagues and gathered their expectations to help GSP prepare. He assisted in setting up the meeting at the ADO so the timing would ﬁt with their planning process and reviewed and commented on GSP’s presentation. Smith and Cannon accompanied GSP’s Edwards and Howell to the FAA to help answer any questions and facilitate the discussion of the project’s timing and priority related to other GSP projects. In September 2018, GSP was awarded discretionary funding covering Phase 1 of the airside and landside development which included the extension of Gateway Drive to the proposed new cargo building. With Phase 1 complete, GSP is now in discussion with the FAA about moving to Phase 2 (and three more wide-body parking positions). Site preparation for Phase 2 is complete but awaiting pavement (which is pending funding). In 2020, airports across the globe suffered a dramatic decline in passengers due to COVID-19. During that time, GSP’s growth in cargo activity has helped sustain them, and most recently, GSP has been recognized as the Best Airport in North America among airports serving 2-5 million passengers annually by the 2020 Airport Services Quality awards. Given the overall success of the cargo project, maybe the quote should be, “We built it. They’re here!”
Bamberg County Airport Out With the Old and In With the New Bamberg in 1915
Every New Year’s Eve we hear the saying “out with the old and in with the new.” The phrase suggests that to move forward, one must let go of one thing to gain something else. This is exactly what Bamberg County Airport (99N) has accomplished! Bamberg County Airport opened in October of 1982. Aviation enthusiast Joseph O. Tobul, CEO of Tobul, was allowed to construct a hangar in agreement with the county airport commission. Tobul had chosen Bamberg for a plant location in 1987 due to the availability of an airport and the county’s professional proposal. Bamberg County can’t underscore enough the support of the Tobul family in maintaining airport facilities and restoring and preserving several World War II aircraft. To commemorate this service, the county just passed a resolution to name the airfield after the family, with a future dedication planned. County Administrator Joey Preston makes it clear Bamberg County airport is friendly, committed and passionate. He understands the correlation between connectivity, government and economic growth and sees a major key to economic growth from the airport. Council Chairman, Larry Haynes says, “When [Preston] first came on, Bamberg County was about to go bankrupt.” Diligent efforts to revitalize the airport over the recent years is obvious in the results. Council just reduced the property tax on aircraft. The airport has a 24-hour Avgas self-service fueling system with the region’s least expensive fuel (guaranteed through AirNav). In addition, they have partnered with an FBO offering charter services. Renovations to established hangars, FBO buildings, new signage and other improvements in the area have been completed as well. The terminal contains a modern pilots lounge with shower facilities, refreshments, a conference room to seat 20, video conferencing capabilities and internet access to name a few. The surrounding property has been restored by removing 35 acres of trees and repurposed/leased the property to ensure agriculture control. A new security monitoring system and a new FOD/ Runway Safety program were set in place. Asphalt was resurfaced for maintenance and general safety improvements and landscaping improvements that include a new public parking lot and picnic area enhance curb appeal. Currently, Bamberg County Airport is in the process of installing a weather station. An exciting pilot training program is being developed with Denmark Technical College. In addition, they have partnered with 1200.Aero to provide ADS-B plane tracking services. Future development plans include improving lighting around the ramp, providing a courtesy vehicle for pilots, extending the runway, adding hangar space and to acquiring surrounding airport property for new business/industrial development. Collaborating with Palmetto Rural Telephone Cooperative (PRTC) will ensure availability of fiber connectivity for future tenants and area business. South Carolina Aeronautics Commission Executive Director, James Stephens said, “It’s exciting to see the changes that are taking place at the Bamberg County Airport. The county administrator and county leadership have been proactive in their approach to making improvements that will attract new tenants, and because of these improvements, the value of the airport will grow. I look forward to seeing the increased activity next time I’m at the airport!” The 94-acre airport has an asphalt paved runway of 3,603 feet x 60 feet. In 2015, the airport had 40 aircraft arrivals and departures. As of the 12-month period ending July 29, 2020, that number was 700, representing a 1650% increase. For the 2021 year, the airport is averaging three per day. It’s in with the new at Bamberg County Airport. Visit bambergair.com for more information.
A Return to Triple Tree Aerodrome By Danny O. Lucas
In September 2021, I had the pleasure or returning to hallowed grounds of Triple Tree Aerodrome, a cathedral to general aviation, for the 14th Annual Triple Tree Fly-In. My four-year absence, including last year’s Covid-19 cancellation, left me feeling ripe with anticipation. I can’t remember being at Triple Tree when the temperature wasn’t 92 degrees with 90 percent humidity. This year, Friday and the rest of the weekend brought clear-blue skies, 80-degree highs, and low humidity. Landing on Triple Tree Aerodrome’s meticulously-manicured grass runway is always a treat following the “chop & drop” approach to Runway 3. While I arrived too late on Friday to hear S.C. Aeronautics Commission Executive Director James Stephens’ presentation, it’s comforting to know that the state’s top aviation ofﬁcial is continually working to improve and promote the role aviation plays in our transportation system and economy. Friday night’s programming was highlighted by riveting stories from retired CIA spook Steve Roth. Mr. Roth regaled us with stories from his experiences in China, Eastern Europe, Central America and the Soviet Union. Saturday afternoon’s highlighted presentation was entitled “Flying the King” by Ron Strauss. Strauss was Elvis Presley’s chief pilot for two years. When asked which airplane he ﬂies for personal use, Mr. Straus stated that he no longer ﬂies. He stated that he quit ﬂying a few years ago after noticing small mistakes in his ﬂying. I was humbled by this, as I don’t think most pilots would publicly admit such vulnerabilities. On Saturday morning, I woke early to stroll the grounds––a great distraction while charging my cellphone and tablet. At breakfast, I met a courtly Vietnam War veteran, and we ventured into a fascinating discussion about our country’s social and political challenges. We remarked how it is amazing that people focus differences instead of the things we hold in common. That afternoon, Triple Tree Executive Director Robb Williams gave a presentation on how the facility is recovering from COVID-19. Despite a ﬂood in February 2020, Triple Tree Aerodrome survived the past 20 months with no events and no revenue. If not for the leadership of founder Pat Hartness and the valiant efforts of the three full-time employees and a legion of volunteers, the aerodrome would have struggled to survive. But survive it has! Approximately 600-800 aircraft ﬂew in for the event. Plans for a new ﬂight deck were unveiled, and it will be located next to the Robert Shaw Education Center. Thirty-two premium campsites have opened up, and 400 total acres are now available for RV and airplane tent camping. It’s hard to top evenings spent watching airplanes come and go while enjoying great meals with friends old and new. Flying home into a gorgeous Saturday sunset that later gave way to a clear night, I again reﬂected on the privilege of ﬂight and all that we have been through since the pandemic began. I made a conscious effort attend this year’s Sun ‘n’ Fun, Airventure and Triple Tree Fly-in. As 2021 enters the home stretch, I pray that we, as a people, remain hopeful and resolute. Triple Tree Aerodrome Fly-In 2021: what a glorious time it was. Page 14
SCAA 2021 SCHOLARSHIP RECIPIENTS
SC Aviation Week tion safety SCAA has awarded scholarshipsoftoEvents South Carolinians afety 2021ﬁve Calendar pursuing careers in the aviation industry. Each individual cluding flight d anti-icingreceived a $1,000 award in the memory of Reid As of publishing, following eventsGarrison, are to the US SC Aviation Association Hall Fameupdates, Inductee. planned. For theoflatest visit the to 2004, Aviation Week section of the SCAA website. numerousAlexander Clifton is a high schooler in Landrum who is August 14 (Pre-Aviation Week pursuing his Private Pilot license. His goalEvent) is to become a Rock Hill-York County Airport commercial pilot for a major airline. ne Pilots Rock Hill, SC 2nd Annual Tour de York Aerial Parade on Board of Sixa.m. Mile is in her freshman year at Clemson Human Sara Dockins 10:30 ounder of University, where she is studying mechanical engineering. Monday, August 16 She plans to work in the aerospace engineering industry. se Program, Donaldson Field/SC el involved Technology and Aviation Center F-16 Arresting Gear Ribbon Cutting Greenville, SC and has written 11 a.m. ed more than *For safety concerns, this event is not open to the cations. public* iversity of Spartanburg Memorial Downtown Airport urity Program, Ceremonial Signing of S.675 Sara Dockins ructor. In Spartanburg, SC n industry, Mr. 2:30 p.m. James Hiott of Little River is enrolled in the Aviation n’s Laura Taber Maintenance Fairfield Technician program y Award in 2004. County Airportat Pittsburgh Institute of Aeronautics in3rd Myrtle Beach. goal isFlights to work on the F-16 Annual Youth His Discovery f the National project at Lockheed Martin Greenville. Sponsored by S&S Aviation and served as Winnsboro, SC He was inducted Time TBA Thomas H. Kepley, III, of Columbia is private pilot who in 2009. is studying Aerospace Engineering at Virginia Tech. Wednesday, August 18 Thomas plansSumter to design more effective, safer and more County Airport resilient aircraft controland systems. Showcase South Carolina Avionics Ribbon Cutting Sumter, SC Abby Threatt9isa.m. a resident of Summerville who is pursuing
her Private Pilot license. She is currently enrolled in high Saturday, August 21 ational school and plans to earn an engineering degree in college. Barnwell Regional Airport
Youth Education Event Barnwell, SC Time TBA
Greenville Downtown Airport FOD Walk Greenville, SC Time TBA Sunday, AugustAbby 22Threatt (Post-Aviation Week Event) Triple Tree Aerodrome SCAA’s scholarship open toClub South Carolina residents Southprogram CarolinaisBreakfast who attend, or will attend, an educational institution or ﬂight school Woodruff, SC 9 a.m. inside or outside the state. The application period for the next program cycle will open in Spring 2022.
Membership Application South Carolina Aviation Association PO Box 80994, Charleston, SC 29416 (P) 1-877-FLY-SCAA // (E) firstname.lastname@example.org (W) www.scaaonline.com __ $25 __ $40 __ $250 __ $450
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Page 16 Palmetto Aviation