The event last Thursday through Saturday at the Lebanon Municipal Airport featured 19 aircraft and pilots with the Red Star Pilot Association, who conducted flight operations. The aircraft included Chinese and Russian planes, and the pilots honed their flying skills in aerial formation training and military-style tactics. The pilots started to arrive Thursday afternoon from Michigan, Indiana, Arkansas, Alabama, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Florida and Tennessee.
“By noon Friday, we had already launched several ‘sorties’ as more aircraft continued to arrive,” said pilot Greg Wrobel. “During the lunch hour, we visited and spoke with young aviation enthusiasts sponsored by the local Sattler Aviation Foundation. What a great group of folks who guide children in aviation opportunities and development. After lunch, we began our briefing and practice for a flyover event at the Cedar Creek Yacht Club in support of the SCAN Foundation. During the flyover, many Wilson County residents looked to the sky as 15 Chinese and Russian aircraft performed an aerial ballet with noise, smoke and precision.”
The group supported three local organizations this year, the Sattler Foundation, the Senior Citizen Awareness Network and the Vanderbilt Children’s Hospital. Children with the Sattler Foundation will be at the airport to learn from the pilots Friday. The pilots did a fly-over for SCAN at the Cedar Creed Yacht Club, and representatives with Vanderbilt Children’s Hospital were at the event to raise money for the hospital.
Wrobel said Saturday began early to take advantage of the cooler temperatures, and flying continued until about 5 p.m. Many local residents came to the Lebanon Municipal Airport to watch throughout the weekend. During a lunch hour and break for the pilots and crews, people were able to wander among the aircraft for photos and discussions with several pilots that were on hand.
“Sunday morning was bitter sweet as our pilots shook hands and thanked each other for the camaraderie and wished each other a safe and pleasant journey home,” Wrobel said. “As sponsor of the event, I was the last to leave. I watched as each aircraft, and sometimes two in formation, took to the skies once again over Lebanon as they departed north, south, east and west on their journey home.”
Wrobel said he’s already looking forward to next year’s event.
“It has only been a few days since this fabulous event ended, but preparations are already in the works for Music City Mingle 2019 which I hope will be bigger and better.”
For more information, visit the Music City Mingle event page on Facebook.