On the morning of Sunday, Sept. 30th, The South Carolina Breakfast Club will be landing at the Greenville Downtown Airport (GMU), the same weekend as the Southeast Aviation Expo.
Members of the South Carolina Breakfast Club have been traveling to airports, in and right around South Carolina, since 1938, ceasing meetings only during World War II when there were restrictions on aviation fuel. The club has no dues, no attendance requirements and no bylaws; they have just one rule: “Safety First”. Breakfast is about $6 a plate and is ready at about 9 am. It’s that simple.
“It has been at least 6 or 7 years, maybe longer, since they have visited GMU,” stated Sonny Massey, Air Traffic Control Tower Manager at GMU. “We are so happy they have chosen GMU for their Sept. 30 event. I have been a member since 2000 and I am not a pilot. Everyone who likes planes is welcome!” Massey said.
“In 1962, I attended my first meeting at the Anderson County Airport,” stated Hank Brown, Owner of Greenville Jet Center. “The club has a tradition of awarding a bouncy ball to the pilot with the worst landing. Well the day I went, there was really bad weather so everyone drove in. Can you believe I got awarded the ball at my first meeting! I guess they didn’t like my parking job!” Brown joked. “I have attended, and even hosted, many over the years and it’s just a great bunch of men and women who come together for friendship and to promote an interest in flying” Brown added.
“Gerald Ballard, out of Twin Lakes, has been president for a very long time and I cannot think of a better person to head this up and represent this crowd. The bowling bag is what he has used for years and years to carry not only the bouncy ball but also gifts for the woman who flew the farthest, a cute little alarm clock, and for the man who flew the farthest, a leather SCBC belt,” stated Valerie Anderson, a SCBC member and event photographer.
“The events usually end with a raffle off of the donated $1 “landing fees”. Gerald is very dramatic when reading out the number because as soon as the winner is announced, the place becomes a ghost town. You will never see so many people leave so fast. It’s not that they stopped having a good time — it’s just that they don’t want to wait behind a bunch of other airplanes trying to leave,” stated Anderson. “In the summer, people like to get home before the inevitable summer storms that pop up in the afternoon.”
“Tell everyone who likes aviation to fly in or drive in and join us for a great home cooked southern breakfast with great fellowship,” stated Steve Sanderson, a SCBC Member and the club’s current point of contact. “If people just want to come and see all the planes arrive and depart, we will be arriving at the Runway Cafe’s apron before 9 and will be leaving around 11. If it’s a nice day you could even come to the Runway Cafe for a very early lunch and watch the planes take off! The number of planes that come is very dependent on the weather.”
“If you like aviation, also make sure to attend the Southeast Aviation Expo being held that same weekend, but on Friday, Sept. 28, and Saturday, Sept. 29,” added Joe Frasher, Airport Director of GMU. “The expo will have over 35 companies showcasing their aviation products and services, more than 13 aircraft will be on display and there will be many interesting educational sessions that you can attend,” Frasher noted.
The South Carolina Breakfast Club has been flying to airports in and around South Carolina since 1938. For more information: FlySCBC.com or call 803-446-0214
For more information about the Southeast Aviation Expo: SCAAOnline.com