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 want to give participants the opportunity to learn about and appreciate the very special places we believe so strongly in defending and protecting. 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.

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
Small general aviation aircraft is $13-$15/night
Airport fee $5
Handling fee $15-$20 will be waived with a 10 gallon fuel purchase
Full and self-service fuel options are available – SouthWings pilots will receive a TBD discount

Local Transportation

SouthWings will provide a shuttle to the Montreat Conference Center on Friday, May 17, departing at 3 PM from Signature Flight Support. The shuttle will return you to the airport on Sunday, May 19th departing the Montreat Conference Center at 11:30 AM – after the conclusion of the safety seminar.

Tentative Agenda and Activities

Friday, May 17th:

3:00 PM Check-in at the Inn
5:00 PM – 6:00 PM Reception and Happy Hour
6:00 PM – 7:00 PM Dinner
7:00 PM – 8:00 PM Welcome & SouthWings 2018 Accomplishments

Saturday, May 18th:

8:00 AM – 9:00 AM Breakfast
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.

5:00 PM – 6:00 PM Happy Hour
6:00 PM – 7:00 PM Dinner
7:00 PM – 7:15 PM Award Ceremony
7:30 PM – 8:30 PM Aerial Forest Fire Detection and Suppression Presentation with special guests: Andy Meranda and Bruce MacDonald


Sunday, May 19th:

8:00 AM – 9:00 AM Breakfast
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
11:00 AM Check-out of the Inn

Free time and/or shuttle back to airport for departure


Please contact Adel Alamo at if you plan to attend no later than April 5, 2019 so that we can have an accurate headcount for the event, and reserve your room directly with the Montreat Assembly Inn as soon as possible.