Our Founder

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.


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, 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.


Pat gave the land to the 501c3 Triple Tree Aerodrome as his gift to aviation. 


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.