Asheville Fly-In 2

SouthWings 22nd Annual Fly-In
May 17-19, 2019
Asheville, NC

SouthWings’ annual volunteer appreciation event aims to bring together our staff, volunteer pilots, and partners. You’re invited to join us for this spectacular event.

The 2019 Fly-In will be Friday, May 17th through Sunday, May 19th. This year, we’re giving participants the opportunity to learn about and enjoy the very special places we defend and protect. We have a fantastic couple of days planned where there will be be something for everyone to enjoy.

_MG_9954We’re planning a scenic drive up the Blue Ridge Parkway to take in the breathtaking views on the way to Mt. Mitchell State Park. Once there, we’ll learn about the fascinating history of the area and how the park was founded. Then we’ll climb the short forested path to the summit, which is the highest peak east of the Mississippi River at 6,684 feet. Then, we’ll have lunch at the state park restaurant overlooking the gorgeous mountainside.

We have a special presentation by your fellow volunteer pilot, Andy Meranda, and his colleague Bruce MacDonald. Andy has worked for the North Carolina Forest Service as a pilot flying forest fires since 2012. Learn how the Forest Service provides forest fire detection and suppression from the ground and from the air. This will be an exciting discussion you won’t want to miss.

Earn WINGS program credits. Fellow volunteer pilot, Emmet Bartholomew, will give a WINGS credit eligible FAA Safety Team presentation on: Best Practices in the Safe Operation of Aircraft at Lower Altitudes and Airspeeds. Operating aircraft “low and slow” during aerial survey flights pose numerous threats such as concerns of terrain, obstacle clearance, passenger distractions, maintaining situational awareness, airspace restrictions, remaining clear of clouds, helicopter traffic, and birds to name just a few of the risks.

There will also be plenty of time to drink, eat good food, relax, and share stories with old and new friends.  As always, spouses/partners are welcome and encouraged to attend.

We look forward to seeing you!

Event Location and Accommodations

Montreat Assembly Inn
401 Assembly Drive
Montreat, NC 28757

_MG_3137The Montreat Assembly Inn is nestled in an idyllic mountain setting overlooking Lake Susan and surrounded by the Seven Sisters mountain range. Conference rooms and dining areas are all on property, and there is plenty to do on site and in the nearby community of Black Mountain. Rooms were recently renovated and the impressive lobby features a massive stone fireplace, with a baby grand piano, and cable television.

Room rates:

Per night one adult: $131.00 (includes room $100 per night + taxes, breakfast, and dinner.)
Per  night two adults: $155.02 (includes room $100 per night + taxes, breakfast, and dinner.)
Lunch on Saturday provided by SouthWings

Directions and Map
Dietary guidelines for meals

Click Here to Reserve Your Room


Nearby Airport and FBO

KAVL – Asheville Regional Airport
61 Terminal Dr
Fletcher, NC 28732

FBO: Signature AVL

  • Overnight parking varies by aircraft, but is generally $10-$13/night per plane.
  • Handling fee $15-$20 will be waived with a 7-10 gallon fuel purchase.
  • Signature will honor a $.50/gallon discount off full-service AvGas for SouthWings pilots. There’s also a self-service pump at the north end of the field with fuel prices generally $2.00 per gallon cheaper than full service (self-service fuel cannot be discounted any further).
  • There’s some ramp construction going on at the FBO presently so please use caution when parking or taxiing.
Local Transportation

The shuttle to the Montreat Conference Center will depart from Signature Flight Support at KAVL on Friday, May 17th at 4 PM.

The shuttle back to Signature Flight Support at KAVL will depart Montreat on Sunday, May 19th at 11:00 AM – after the conclusion of the safety seminar.

(We will all ride together on the shuttle to Mt. Mitchell on Sat., May 18th.)

Agenda and Activities

Friday, May 17th:

3:00 PM Check-in at the Inn
4:00 PM Shuttle departs from Signature FBO KAVL
5:00 PM – 5:30 PM Welcome Reception and Happy Hour in the Belk Room
5:30 PM – 6:30 PM Dinner in the Galaxy Dining Room
7:00 PM – 8:00 PM SouthWings 2019 Accomplishments Presentation in the Belk Room

Saturday, May 18th:

7:30 AM – 8:30 AM Breakfast in the Galaxy Dining Room
9:00 AM – 10:15 AM Shuttle to Mt. Mitchell State Park
10:30 AM – 11:30 AM History of Mt. Mitchell with Park Ranger
11:45 AM – 12:30 PM Climb the short wooded trail to the summit and viewing deck of Mt. Mitchell
12:30 PM – 1:30 PM Lunch at the Mt. Mitchell restaurant
2:00 PM Shuttle back to Montreat Assembly Inn


3:00 PM Free time.

4:30 PM – 5:30 PM Happy Hour in the Belk Room
5:30 PM – 6:30 PM Dinner in the Galaxy Dining Room
7:00 PM – 7:30 PM Award Ceremony in the Belk Room
7:30 PM – 8:30 PM Aerial Forest Fire Detection and Suppression Presentation with special guests: Andy Meranda and Bruce MacDonald in the Belk Room


Sunday, May 19th:

7:30 AM – 8:30 AM Breakfast in the Galaxy Dining Room
9:00 AM – 10:00 AM FAASTeam Safety Presentation by Emmet Bartholomew (Earn Wings Program credit) entitled Best Practices in the Safe Operation of Aircraft at Lower Altitudes and Airspeeds in the Belk Room
11:00 AM Check-out of the Inn and shuttle departs to Signature FBO KAVL


Please contact Adel Alamo at or David Moore at if you have any last minute questions or needs.