This is one of two stunning, hand-built
aircraft that came from the mind and skilled
hands of Chuck Gratner. The design is a
mixture of Chuck’s favorite Golden Age
aircraft that he dubbed the Riley Model B.
The Jeti USA Girl Flight Team showcased two young women, Aneta Bouskova and Ashleigh Heath,
flying 3-D aerobatics. Each day crowds gathered around the main flightline at noon to watch
professional teams, pilots, and manufacturers demonstrate their skills and their products.
In 2011, Pat Hartness placed the Triple
Tree Aerodrome in Woodruff, South
Carolina, in a 501(c)( 3) trust to ensure
that it will be enjoyed by aviators for
decades to come. It is now controlled by a
board of trustees, and Pat’s vision to “Ignite
and Expand the Passion for Aviation” will
endure. The Triple Tree Aerodrome will
forever be a versatile, diverse, and beautiful
aviation site for model and full-scale
You don’t have to be a pilot to
appreciate the Triple Tree Aerodrome.
It now supports youth programs and a
learning center complete with simulators
(both full-scale and RC) where people of
all ages can learn more about aviation.
However, with all of these amenities
comes some responsibility. Nearly all of
the efforts to maintain Triple Tree are on a
volunteer basis. The facility has
only one paid employee. Funds for the
operating expense and improvements
come from donations and proceeds from
events held at Triple Tree.
To meet the site’s financial
obligations and improvements is an
ongoing responsibility. How much
do you think it costs annually to
maintain the fantastic 450-acre site?
It is approximately $300,000 a year.
Utilities average $24,000, insurance is
another $16,000, the fuel bill is roughly
$13,000, and seed, fertilizer, and sod are
These figures don’t include equipment
maintenance, equipment replacement,
upgrades, and myriad miscellaneous
expenses that add up to roughly
$200,000 per year. Extraordinary
expenditures such as the new Education
Center are an additional expenditure.
has been fortunate
to have generous, wealthy donors, but
everyone who enjoys and appreciates
this first-class aviation facility is
urged to help and we have strength
in our numbers. If each of us donates
something—anything—it would be a
huge boost to Triple Tree’s continued
development and longevity.
Donations can be made online at
the-vision.php, or you can send a tax-deductible donation directly to Gene
Strozier, the treasurer of the 501(c)( 3),
at Triple Tree Aerodrome, 330 Mary
Hanna Rd., Woodruff SC 29388.
31 Model Aviation SEP TEMBER 2016