Thomas Patterson “Pat” Hartness was born in Greenville June 13, 1941. He became involved with aviation at the early age of seven, when he first flew control line aircraft and then free flight model aircraft. Aviation has deep roots in his family, with his mother and his father (Tom and Edna) flying with the Civil Air Patrol.
Pat’s first full scale homebuilt was a Volksplane he built in 1971. His personal aircrafts include: The Volksplane, BT-13, Stearman, Spartan Executive, an Ultralight, and an AirCam.
Pat expanded his love of aviation by hosting both Radio Control and General Aviation events at his familys homestead property in Greenville, SC. The first event was held in 1983 and called the Big Bird Fly-In. The popularity of the events grew and Pat needed to find a bigger place to host his friends.
In 1997, Pat purchased property in Woodruff, SC and started sculpting Triple Tree Aerodrome. Having an eye towards the future, he established the Triple Tree Aerodrome a 501c3 non-profit. Pat gave the land to the non-profit as his gift to aviation.
Triple Tree now accommodates thousands of flying enthusiasts each year, not only from South Carolina but nationally and internationally. Thousands of pilots and aircraft have been a part of the Triple Tree Flying experience.
Pat’s dream of an education center where both children and old timers can continue learning about aviation is still ongoing. Years later, Pat is still our visionary thinker and you will often see him out on the Komatsu helping to build his dream.
He is often asked, when are you going to be done developing Triple Tree? He says with a smile, “When Im done.”
Without question, Pat’s goal has always been “to ignite and expand the passion for aviation,” and he lives by those words today.
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