Valentine’s Day is right around the corner, and the City of Groveland and Osborn Airfield are feeling the love – for flying.
On Saturday, February 16, between 9 am and 3 pm, Jon and Darlene Osborn, the airport owners, are partnering with the city to host a Love Is in the Air Fly-in at the 3700-ft. grass airfield in Groveland.
Pilots and people who love flying – and others who are just curious about airplanes are invited to the free fly-in that includes a barbecue lunch and a chance to look at dozens of airplanes. “We will celebrate Valentine’s Day and the love we have for our hometown, Groveland, as well as the flying community,” said Darlene Osborn.
Come by Air: The airfield is 27 miles due west of Orlando Executive Airport (GPS Coordinates: N28 – 31.6 W81 – 52.5 /Identifier: 02FA, and the CTAF is 122.9).
Come by Land: From Clermont, take Hwy 50 west to Hwy 33, head south for 1/2 mile. Turn right on Anderson Road, go to the end. Turn left on Empire Church Road and follow it for 3 miles. You will see our OSBORN AIRFIELD sign on the left. Turn left on Mattioda Road and go 1/4 mile to the next sign and turn right onto the airfield.
The last fly-in at the airport was in 2015 to celebrate the airfield’s 50th anniversary. That event drew about 75 aircraft and 300-plus people.
For the City of Groveland, it’s a chance to show off one of three airfields in the Groveland area. City officials believe that transportation will play an increasingly important role in the future and that the Osborn Airfield could be a catalyst for economic development.
The Osborns purchased the airfield in 2004. Currently, 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. Osborn said some of the Orlando and Apopka flight schools use the airfield for training.
Jon Osborn 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,” Osborn said. “Even though many pilots are inactive, their appreciation of aviation and all things airplane will bring them out to a local fly-in,” he said.
“But mostly, fly-ins are about socializing,” said Darlene Osborn.