Like a car show for aircraft, the upcoming HessJet Open Hangar Show May 3 will feature approximately 15 general aviation airplanes.
"It's going to be an excellent spread of pretty much all major manufacturers in the industry, and that hasn't happened in Chattanooga in a long time," said HessJet owner Terry Hess. "It's going to be a good event for someone not sure of how to fit into general aviation."
From 2-8 p.m. that day, TAC Air, located at 1001 Airport Road, will open its hangar and invite local flying enthusiasts, business owners, airplane owners and potential airplane owners to check out current planes.
"One of the big things that businesses need to be aware of is airline alternatives that can give them a real advantage," said Hess. "And this event is going to highlight many of general aviation's advantages."
Focusing primarily on privately chartered planes, HessJet has been in business in Chattanooga for just over one year. Offering same-day round-trip service to a variety of locations in the region and across the country, Hess said the biggest challenge in the local general aviation industry is getting people's attention.
"It takes a little bit of a paradigm shift, because so many people assume airlines are the only option," he said. "But our services can decrease a business's bottom line and increase sales representation and the effective services of sales."
According to Hess, a chartered same-day round-trip flight to Memphis for two or three professionals costs approximately the same amount as a first-class airline trip. However, unlike an airline trip, there's no need for an overnight stay, which cuts down on overall trip costs and allows the professionals to work more efficiently, he said.
Hess said response from clients so far has been positive. Some of his clients have said being able to do business in person has helped them make unexpected sales or has increased their business more than they originally thought possible.
"We like to quote Warren Buffet a lot around here," said Hess. "He's famous for asking, 'Have you ever made a firm handshake over the phone?'"
For more information visit the HessJet website at www.hessjet.com.