During the month when Valentine’s Day is celebrated, the city of Groveland is feeling the love for flying.
Osborn Airfield owners Jon and Darlene Osborn, partnering with the city, will host the Love Is in the Air Fly-in from 9am-3pm Saturday, Feb. 16, a news release states. The 3,700-foot grass airfield is at 12155 Mattioda Road in Groveland.
Pilots and plane enthusiasts are invited to the free fly-in that includes a barbecue lunch at noon and a chance to look at dozens of airplanes.
“But mostly, fly-ins are about socializing,” Darlene says in the release.
The Osborns’ last fly-in in 2015 attracted about 75 aircraft and 300-plus people to celebrate the airfield’s 50th anniversary.
“We will celebrate Valentine’s and the love we have for our hometown, Groveland, as well as the flying community,” Darlene says.
For the city of Groveland, the event is a chance to show off one of three airfields in the area. City officials believe that transportation will play an increasingly important role in the future of Groveland and that Osborn Airfield could be a catalyst for economic development.
The Osborns purchased the airfield in 2004. It is one of the largest private grass runways in Central Florida. Most of the use comes from local business owners and commercial pilots with personal planes. Some of the Orlando and Apopka flight schools also use the airfield for training.
Jon thinks there is more interest than ever in aviation.
“We did studies to determine the pilot population in the South Lake County area, and we listed nearly 6,000 pilots,” Jon says in the release. “Even though many pilots are inactive, their appreciation of aviation, and all things airplane, will bring them out to a local fly-in.”