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. His brother Robert Garland and his son Sean are also pilots.
Pat’s first full scale homebuilt was a Volksplane he built in 1971. His personal aircrafts include: The Volksplane, J-3 Cub, BT-13, Stearman, Spartan Executive, an Ultralight, P-51 Mustang and an AirCam.
In 1997, Pat purchased property in Woodruff SC and started sculpting Triple Tree Aerodrome. 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. Close to 1000 aircraft and many thousands of “operations” are counted in a single year. The “Joe Nail” remote control aircraft event is held here every year and is the world’s largest giant scale remote control event.
The Academy of Model Aeronautics presented Pat with the President’s Award for his leadership and named Triple Tree Aerodrome an Outstanding Flying Field. Pat’s dream of an education center where both children and old timers can continue learning about aviation is finished, and a restoration center is in place where aircraft will live to Fly again. Without question, Pat’s goal has always been “to ignite and expand the passion for aviation,” and he lives by those words today.