Each month we highlight an airstrip with hopes that you will get out and enjoy these special places. This month, we’re featuring Tullahoma Regional in Tennessee. 

The small city of Tullahoma, Tennessee can rightfully boast of its big aviation culture. Right on the field you can take in displays of vintage Beechcraft aircraft at the world renown Beechcraft Heritage Museum. Leading-edge avionics technology is produced by the region’s largest employer, Arnold Engineering and Development Center, considered the world’s most advanced and largest complex of flight simulation and test facilities.

The regional airport, KTHA south of Nashville and west of Chattanooga, was originally built during WWII, sturdy enough for B24 and B25 bombers. The community has continually improved it, maintaining a parallel turf runway. “It’s hard to find places like this east of the Mississippi,” Museum President Charles Parish says. You can land on one of two turf runways, taxi on the grass, tie down in Beech Park and camp under your wing near the visitor pavilion with shower house, tables, stove, refrigerator – a place for you and your aircraft to escape inclement weather. There is a fire ring and stocked firewood. “We’re centrally located. A good place to stop on your way to Sun ’n Fun or Oshkosh,” Parish added. He points out that a visit at Tullahoma’s Beech Park can offer economical recreation for the family.

Beginning with Mr. Parish’s father, John, his family has been deeply involved in the museum facility. “It’s our Boy Scout background. We were raised to make a difference,” he says. He explains that the museum board is creating “more than bricks and mortar,” more of a campus atmosphere within its quiet natural wooded setting, surprisingly close to Tullahoma and all it has to offer. 

AOPA chose Tullahoma for both 2015 and 2019 Regional Fly-Ins, hosting about 600 aircraft for each event. If rock music is your passion, come in June for Manchester’s Music Festival, just 15 miles from the airport. Being Tennessee, regional distilleries offer tours and tastings. Visitors interested in Civil War history may appreciate that citizens of this southern state were thrown into the tragedy of the Civil War when Tennessee seceded from the Union. The town is the final resting place for over four hundred Confederate soldiers.

Tullahoma’s turf runways are seasonal, as are the camping facilities, typically operational from May through October. Find more about Tullahoma in the Airfield Guide. The Beechcraft Heritage Museum is open Tuesday – Saturday, 9 am to 4 pm and its website includes information on ingress and egress from Beech Park.

Submitted January 31, 2024
By Carmine Mowbray
Photos courtesy of Beech Park


  1. Rusty Knox on February 1, 2024 at 7:41 am

    A wonderful destination for many reasons. The Parish family hosted a morning fly-in and tour for our 180/185 Club a few years back and demonstrated what southern hospitality is all about. They are truly gracious hosts.

    • Charles Parish on February 1, 2024 at 12:26 pm

      Thanks my friend!

      • Dan Johnson on February 25, 2024 at 5:19 pm

        This was great for me to see. I own a Waco RNF and have photos of John Parish rebuilding it and displaying it in the very early 50s. Last year I finished overhauling it and got it flying again. I’m glad to learn that his legacy continues.

  2. Dave Warner on February 1, 2024 at 8:28 am

    My wife and I camped there during the 2019 AOPA Fly-in and really enjoyed it, especially the Beechcraft Museum and John Parish’s friendly hospitality. We’d have loved to have stayed longer and see more and I’ve been wanting to return ever since. Perhaps this is the year. The collection of’Staggerwings’ and the Starship is amazing.

  3. Chris Olstad on February 1, 2024 at 10:43 am

    A wonderful destination for aviation enthusiasts, and even those that aren’t necessarily chronically flight afflicted, such as yours truly. The museums amazing collection of airplanes, photographs and historical provenance, paying tribute to Beechcraft’s founders Walter and Olive Ann Beech, are second to none. The grounds are beautifully maintained and definitely an airplane campers dream. Especially if you are looking to take some of the less adventuresome members of the family out for a few nights of camping. With some of the creature comforts of home, like warm showers and toilets that flush, even the kiddos will be begging to return.

    KTHA… Truly a Tennessee gem!

  4. Alan White on February 1, 2024 at 11:19 am

    The Beechcraft Heritage Museum at THA hosts a wonderful annual event called Beech Party. Despite the name, all makes and models of aircraft are welcome to join in and take part in the festivities! Every type of Beech Aircraft is represented including Staggerwings and Starships! My favorite is the Sundowner! OK, so I’m biased!

  5. Steve Lawton on February 4, 2024 at 3:54 pm

    Great aviation community
    Stephen Lawton

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