For the last few years I have always wanted to make it to the Triple Tree Fly-in (SC00) in Woodruff, SC. Last year I think I scrubbed the trip due to weather. This year weather and vacation time worked out perfect. Hurricane Dorian was bothering the eastern shore, all the while leaving pleasant weather along my route. It's a quick 2.5 hour-ish flight down to SC00.
Locally around KDMW there was a R44 carrying a bucket. It was set down in a field just to the north of KDMW. Still a mystery as to what it's doing.
There was a broken layer around 5,000' we climbed through.
Even though it's a nice view outside, I wouldn't know! My friend Peter is a CFII and I used the trip to Triple Tree and back as an opportunity to get some hood time and IFR practice.
Supposedly as we got further south the skies just got prettier. I was unfortunately not able to enjoy the views.
This was my view instead. We did have a nice 17 kts tailwind going down. Here I am tracking the 224 degree radial off of the MOL VOR via GPS. MOL wasn't operative via the VOR receiver.
Being under the hood makes you sort of batty. It's constant concentration and corrections. And it's super easy for things to get away from you, especially in the RV. It's easy to gain or loose a couple hundred feet in no time.
I read the Triple Tree arrival NOTAM a few times and it seemed a little confusing not knowing the area. Initial approach point was at the Walmart Distribution warehouse near KLUX, then follow the road/railroad up to the sandpit, a red roof church in Enoree, and then aim for the lake at SC00. I marked it up on a VRF chart snip to better visualize it.
The approach was as simple as I drew it above. The Walmart distribution warehouse cannot be missed. It's massive. We came right on in without any other traffic for runway 21.
The runway at Triple Tree is simply massive - 7,000' x 400'. It surface is smooth as silk - like landing on a golf putting green.
This was the coolest part of Triple Tree - parking under the shade of the trees. About 100 yards from us was a river which hugged the southern airplane parking area.
After we were all setup for the night, it was time to crack open some beers and enjoy this perfect South Carolina weather. Although it was warm out (85-90), we had a great breeze blowing keeping things tolerable.
We had a fantastic parking spot. We sat at our campsite for an hour or so and watched the world taxi by us as we drank a couple of beers. Triple Tree is a VERY relaxing fly-in. No hustle and bustle like SNF and Osh.
We decided to take the bus to the top of the hill and see what Triple Tree had to offer. Lots of great nice people.
Views from the top of the hill.
We moseyed down to where the hangars were. I knew this AirCam would be in here. I met the builder (Matt Tisdale) at Oshkosh 2016. He subsequently had a writeup in Sport Aviation in January of 2017 .
Not to be missed in this hangar hanging in the ceiling are numerous large scale RC aircraft. The "Spirit of Triple Tree" 1938 Spartan 7W Executive had an impeccable polish job.
"Tempus Fugit" (Time Flies) P51 Mustange is what you saw first when you walked into the hangar.
Back down the hill we watched a DC3 land (1/2 in attendance - the largest airplane I saw at Triple Tree).
We participated in the "Taste of Triple Tree" food truck event where there were 20 tasting tables you could sample food from. Clam Chowder was imported from Cedar Key. Burgers, hushpuppies, beef, pork, meatballs, etc....So much great food.
It was a little warm for a fire...but look at the size of this outdoor fireplace!
We missed the last buss back to our campsite, so we hoofed it down the hill. We stumbled across a party going on in the campgroup. I think I heard "Wagon Wheel" (by Darius Rucker) played twice.
We woke up Saturday to another perfect South Carolina day. Unfortunately we only had enough time to spend one night at Triple Tree - we say this as a reconnaissance mission to figure out how to do Triple Tree right next year. We saw a Bell UH-1 ("Huey") takeoff and make a few passes.
The grounds at Triple Tree are quite immaculate. Lots of really cool buildings.
The flight line filled in quickly on Saturday morning for those just flying in for the day and not camping. I ran into my friend Bill Repucci (RV-9) and got to catch up on his EICommander PMAG monitor and also life in general.
We took our time getting packed up and headed out around 11am. Peter tracked down a golf cart to escort us to an active runway. This guy finds any reason to get a free ride somewhere!
Blasting from Triple Tree - the quality of the turf of this runway is better than some paved runways I've used. Triple Tree is nothing less than amazing. Everyone who worked and attended the event was extremely kind. I counted FOUR vendors total (2 t-shirt vendors, one ice cream vendor and Beringer Brakes). I sort of felt bad for Beringer...they stood out like a sore thumb. I will definitely be back next year with friends! Thanks for amazing hospitality, SC!
On the way home we needed to sprinkle some fuel in our tanks. KZEF, Elkins, NC, offered the cheapest fuel in the area at $3.99/G. Their fuel service was listed as "PS" - Pump Service. I've heard of Self Service ("SS") and Full Service ("FS") before, but never Pump Service. I tried calling them to get clarification (assisted fueling?) but no one answered...anyways, we headed there anyways in hope of a bargain.
On the way there we shot the RNAV approach to runway 7. We learned that my GRT EFIS wasn't picking up vertical guidance from my GTN-650. Still good practice under the hood!
Peter's iPad has the full Garmin Pilot subscription with Geo-Referenced IFR charts. This clearly shows how much of a natural IFR pilot I am handflying....
Ont he ground at Elkins I couldn't tell what made this pump "Pump Service". Normal Self Service pump...however..THE LOUDEST FUEL PUMP EVER. It was deafening.
The remainder of the trip back to Westminster was uneventful. Peter had me track a bunch of radials off of a VOR from Roanoke with altitude/speed changes. All great practice. Wonderful trip. Great airplane! If you're still building - KEEP BANGING THOSE RIVETS!!!! ITS ALL WORTH IT!!!
Last Modified: September 28, 2019