Often a quiet place, the Sossamon Field Airport was bustling with activity this past Friday, Oct. 23. SWT Aviation, Inc. of Marietta, Georgia sponsored the event that brought a fly-in to the airport.
Chip Allen, SWT president, and Kathy Davis organized the event. Davis contacted Beth Sossamon Ecstein and Ann Marie S. Woffindin who own the property for permission to have the fly in. Beth and Ann Marie were delighted to see the airport busy for a day.
The group chose the airport because one of the club’s pilots had flown into Bryson City before, loved the town and airport, according to Davis. Since they knew it wasn’t very active either, they knew they would not interfere with other air traffic.
The pilots are customers and friends of SWT Aviation from about 10 different states in the South. Davis said they all flew into Suches, Georgia, last Thursday night and were ready for Bryson City about 10 a.m. Friday morning.
The weather delayed the event for about an hour and a half. The flight between Suches and Bryson City is about an hour. The pilots arrvied here at about 12:30 p.m. After they all landed, Davis had Cherokee Boys Club waiting to take them to town and back so they could go out to eat and shop.
The cub planes they fly are two seaters, with the pilot in front and the passenger behind. The plane is controlled by a stick and pedals. The planes can land and lift off from small distances— the length of a football field. Most of the planes landed on the grass field alongside the paved runway because it provides a softer landing for the light planes.
One plane that was equipped to land on water or land used the paved runway because it requires a smooth surface and a longer distance for landing and take offs. The cub planes are manufactured in Washington state and a new one costs about $250,000.
The pilots said that the planes are fun and they love flying them. One pilot said he purchased a kit to put together his own plane.
The group thanked Beth and Ann Marie for letting them use Sossamon Field Airport. The club then proceeded to fly out one after the other like bees out of a beehive.
Photos and story by Teddy Greene