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This Year's 57th Annual Convention
Gastonia, NC

JUNE 18 - JUNE 23

Once a year the ANS, Ltd. has a National Convention the last week in June or the first week of July. In order to give all of our members the opportunity to attend, we rotate the convention sites around the country. GASTONIA, NC has been chosen as the site for the 2017 convention.

Why do we have a convention? For fun, camaraderie and to share the joy our Navions bring us. Last year's convention was held in RUIDOSO, NM, JUNE 19-24, 2016.


In an effort to make our convention more relaxing and to give us a little more time to enjoy the SNAG hospitality room, we are rearranging a few of the events this summer when we are in Gastonia, NC, June 18-23.

Sunday evening Pizza Party will still be on Sunday evening, otherwise we would have to change the name. We will again be asking our regional chapters to make a donation to help defray the cost.

The welcoming breakfast will still be the first thing Monday morning - although several years ago a member did suggest we have it later in the week. That was probably the only time our members have seen Jim Waldron speechless.

We will continue with the Voting Members’ only meeting on Monday afternoon, followed by the Board of Directors’ meeting to which all ANS members are welcomed to attend. These meetings were changed to Monday last year, since often times it was difficult for the pilots and observers to complete the morning contest and get to the meetings on time. Those involved felt they liked the change.

Tuesday’s speed contest has not changed and we are leaving the rest of Tuesday open for individual adventures (many of which will be previewed in the next 2 issues of the Navioneer). We’ve also scheduled Woody & Jean’s Ice Cream Social for later that day.

Wednesday is the BIG CHANGE. In the past, we have always taken Wednesday for our bus tour of the area. However, we will be having the Efficiency Contest Wednesday morning and the Safety/Tech Session that same afternoon. A trip to the Schiele Museum & Planetarium is schedule after the Safety/Tech session.

Thursday is the SECOND BIG CHANGE. This year we will take our bus tour to Charlotte and Mooresville, leaving the hotel about 9:15 am and returning about 9:30 p.m. The sites scheduled for the tour will be briefly mentioned later in this article but will be featured in a future edition of the Navioneer.

Friday returns to some semblance of normalcy with the Proficiency Contest in the morning and the Awards dinner in the evening. The Safety/Tech session was moved to Wednesday to free up Friday afternoon for packing and getting ready for the Awards Dinner.

Speaking of the Awards Dinner - In order to have a raffle and an auction, we need donations. Raffle item usually have a value of less than $35.00, while the auction has no limit. Please keep the ANS in mind as you’re out about your activities.

The Thursday 12-hour tour will include the following:

*Transportation in a luxury 55-passenger coach
*A 3-hour tour of the NASCAR museum. The tour includes lunch and a ticket to drive in their race simulator.
*A tour through the Lazy 5 Ranch which features and raises exotic animals.
*A dinner cruise on the paddle wheel boat, Catawba.
Seating is limited. Register now. Credit cards and checks will be held until after April 1.


FRIDAY - 2:00
Presented by:
Richard McSpadden, Jr.
Ex. Director,
AOPA Air Safety Institute


Gastonia is approximately 25 miles from Charlotte, but before you head out for the big city, look at some of the restaurants and places to visit in Gastonia.

Gastonia, at an approximate population of 75,000 offers every type of eatery you could possibly want.

The Webb Custom Kitchen is known for its outstanding food and excellent service. Offering ample portions, it is truly a great performance in the culinary arts! Be prepared to pay for this outstanding food, excellent service and culinary art.

Patrons say Ray's Country Smokehouse-Grill has no atmosphere but if you want delicious food, friendly staff, very reasonable price, this is the place to go.

AmberJack Seafood & Steaks is known for its great steaks and seafood and personable service. But what will really catch your attention is the desert case up front by the register. For it was there that you will behold the crazy cake. It's a must try!

Exploring around the area, be sure to check out some of these establishments.

Gaston Pickers
Stopping here, you will be blown away at the wide array of items. It’s like being in a time machine and being able to visit every era of the last 30 plus years. ┬áTrip Advisor highly recommends spending an afternoon exploring this attraction. For those of you who visited Lots of Stuff in Ruidoso, you’ll enjoy Gaston Pickers.

Gift & Specialty Shops
Mary Jo’s Cloth Shop, a dream come true for quilters B & B Antique & Artisan Mall for those who enjoy collecting pieces from the past.



What can you expect when we visit the NASCAR Museum?

The NASCAR Hall of Fame honors drivers who have shown exceptional skill at NASCAR driving, all-time great crew chiefs and owners, and other major contributors to competition within the sanctioning body. It is a shrine to stock-car drivers past and present plus a museum with interactive exhibits and a theater.

Your NASCAR combo includes admission, a souvenir lanyard, unlimited simulator rides, (I guess we know where to look for “missing” Navioneers when it’s time to leave) AND we’ll get a hot sandwich for lunch with a NASCAR souvenir cup.


Enjoy up-close and personal encounters with more than 750 exotic animals from six continents.
We’ll ride safari-style through this unique drive-through animal park and zoo. The Lazy 5 Ranch has 3.5 miles of road on 185 acres that we will traverse a the horse-drawn wagon ride for a true up-close experience! We can also walk-through areas which feature additional zoo exhibits.


This Mississippi River Boat provides a refreshing dinner cruise on the open water. The Catawba is equipped with a fully functioning bar and kitchen where a chef will prepare our buffet dinner. In addition to enjoying a delightful dinner, we will be treated to amazing sights and a narration about the area from the boat’s captain. This trip is billed as “a step into the past.”

(This information is provided by the Department of Tourism. It is not based on personal experience.)





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