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2023 SouthWings Fly-In

April 18, 2023
April 20, 2023
Hendersonville, NC
SouthWings is hosting its annual Volunteer Pilot Appreciation Fly-In April 18-20, 2023 at the Kanuga Conference and Retreat Center in Hendersonville, NC. You're invited!
Register For This Event

We're very excited to be able to gather safely again and can't wait to get to know our new friends and reconnect with our old ones. You can expect a program update from SouthWings staff, a pilot roundtable session and a talk from some of our flight partners (view agenda below). Of course, there will be plenty of time to tell stories around the fire and relax in super comfortable rocking chairs!

Please feel free to bring a guest!


Kanuga Conference and Retreat Center in beautiful Western North Carolina

130 Kanuga Chapel Drive

Hendersonville, NC 28739


We are honored to have and Kemp Burdette, Alex Kolker and Jeffrey Hunter joining us at the Fly-In.

About our speakers:

Kemp Burdette

Kemp Burdette is the Cape Fear Riverkeeper and works to protect and improve the water quality of the Lower Cape Fear River. He is a Wilmington native who grew up exploring the waterways and swamps that make our area so special. Kemp has lived and travelled around the world as a US Navy search and rescue swimmer, a Fulbright Scholar, and a Peace Corps volunteer. At home and abroad Kemp has always been interested in the way humans interact with their environment.

Kemp has flown over 30 flights with SouthWings volunteer pilots in his work holding polluters accountable and keeping the Cape Fear River clean.

Read his full bio HERE.

Dr. Alex Kolker

Dr. Alex Kolker is an Associate Professor at the Louisiana Universities Marine Consortium. He studies climate change, sea level rise, resilience, and change in coastal systems. He has worked in systems across the world, including the Mississippi River Delta, Florida Everglades, the Atlantic Seaboard of the US, and North Africa. Among his current research projects, Dr. Kolker is actively studying Neptune Pass. This is the largest crevasse to form in the Mississippi River in decades- and a potential mechanism for large scale land building in the region.

Dr. Kolker received his Bachelors' degree from the University of California, Santa Cruz and his Master’s and Doctoral degrees from Stony Brook University. During the 2019-2020 academic year, Dr. Kolker was a Fulbright Scholar in Morocco, and he presently serves on the Fulbright Specialist Roster. He currently lives in New Orleans, LA.

Read his full bio HERE.

Jeff Hunter

Jeff Hunter is a senior program manager with National Parks Conservation Association (NPCA) in Asheville, NC where he works on issues related to Great Smoky Mountains National Park, the Blue Ridge Parkway, and the Appalachian National Scenic Trail.

He spends most of his time coordinating a collaborative project focused on improving wildlife’s ability to safely cross Interstate 40 in the Pigeon River Gorge, just outside of the Smokies.

Read his full bio HERE.

We are honored to have these speakers at our Fly-In!


One person: $115 (room) + $65 (meals)= $180/day

Two people: $124 (room) + $130 (meals)= $254/day

You must reserve before March 19th to take advantage of these discounted room rates.

Kanuga's cancellation policy: Cancelling 10 or less days before arrival equals a fee of one night's stay; anything before that will receive no fee. No-shows will be charged one night stay to the card on file.

Commuters are welcome! Commuter fees are $65 per person per day which covers your meals. In order to pay this, you will simply pay for each meal at the dining hall register.

Book your rooms with this reservation link before March 19, 2023 to enjoy discounted room rates.

Kanuga Inn
Kanuga Lake


(subject to change)

Tuesday, April 18

4pm – Check in time at Kanuga

5pm-6pm – Social Hour

6pm-7pm – Dinner

7:30pm-11pm – S'mores around the fire

Wednesday, April 19

8am-9am – Breakfast

9am-12pm– Morning Session

     9-9:15am Welcome and staff introductions

     9:15-10am Program Update

      10-11am Presentation: Kemp Burdette, Cape Fear River Watch. "Boots on the Ground meets Eye in the Sky - Aerial monitoring in the Cape Fear Basin"

      11-11:15am Break

      11:15-12pm Pilot Roundtable

12pm-1pm – Lunch

1pm-2pm – Down Time/Nature Walk

2pm-3pm – Presentation: Alex Kolker, Louisiana Universities Marine Consortium

3pm-4pm – Presentation: Jeff Hunter, National Parks Conservation Association

4:30pm-6:30pm – Social Hour w/ Bluegrass music from Blue Ridge Tradition

6:30pm-8pm – Dinner

8pm-11pm – Fire Pit

Thursday, April 20

8-9am – Breakfast

10am – Checkout Time

10:30am – TBA , possible FAASTeam Presentation

To register for the Fly-In, CLICK HERE!

Note: please fill out the Registration form in addition to reserving your room through Kanuga.

If you have COVID or accessibility concerns that would prevent you from fully participating in this Fly-In, please let us know HERE and we will do our best to find a remedy.

Questions? Email Chelsea Easter at or call (828) 552-4907.

Hope to see you there!

THANK YOU to our 2023 Fly-In Sponsors:

Counter Culture Coffee

Sporty's Pilot Shop
Mast General Store

Aircraft Spruce & Specialty Company
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