EAA Chapter 1343 and GTO Aviation are hosting a Tennessee Valley regional fly-in and expo on Saturday, June 23, at Sumner County Regional Airport (M33) dubbed the Tennessee Steamplant Fly-in.
This all-day event will feature a pancake breakfast, music, catered lunch, displays, vendors, educational sessions and lots of airplanes. “We have invited all EAA chapters in Tennessee to attend, as well as those chapters in bordering states,” said EAA 1354 Vice President Len Assante. “In honor of our very useful landmark two miles south of the extended centerline of runway 17, we are calling our event the Tennessee Steamplant Fly-In.”
There are three primary goals for the fly-in, according to Assante. “First, we want to have a fun — we want to create an annual event where pilots from across Tennessee can gather to enjoy the company of fellow aviators. Next, we want to show as many people as possible how wonderful and exciting aviation is. We want to grow the pilot population. Finally, aviation is a big business in Tennessee — over $2.5 billion in economic activity a year. We want to showcase the economic impact aviation has in Gallatin and in Tennessee.”
Mike McCartney, CEO of GTO Aviation, the FBO at Summer County, agrees. “This airport and places like it can be so important to communities around Tennessee. We want to show everyone the value general aviation airports and the businesses they work with have. People need to come and see what we have to offer.”
Gates open at 8 am for a pancake breakfast. Vendors and displays will be ready to operate by 9 am. At noon, a catered lunch will be offered by D’Lish Delivery. Late morning and early afternoon will feature educational sessions.
“We have commitments from over 10 manufacturers representing both Part 23 and LSA category aircraft, as well as avionics, aircraft finishing, ultralights, and more,” said Assante, noting the vendors will be set up all day. “In addition we’ll have information on learning to fly and certified flight instructors on hand to answer questions. Bob Minter, 2012 inductee of the Tennessee Aviation Hall of Fame, representing the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA), will be on hand to answer questions or sign up new members. AOPA members who renew with Bob will get an AOPA Tennessee pin.”
Dozens of aircraft will be on display, with a mix of warbirds, trikes, experimental and certificated models. Biplane rides will be available for purchase.
Admission is free, as is vehicle and aircraft parking. GTO Aviation will offer a fuel discount to all pilots flying in.
A group dinner will be held Friday night for early arrivals and volunteers.
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