Lebanon Tourist & Convention Commission Staff Report

For eight days of every year, an airport near Lebanon, the Heart of Kentucky, becomes the focus of the remote-controlled jet world.

This year the 16th annual Jets Over Kentucky event, billed as “the world’s grandest jet event,” happens July 12, 2020 and extends through July 19, 2020, a Sunday-to-Sunday stretch.

And it all happens at the Lebanon-Springfield Airport, on the Marion and Washington County line in Kentucky off KY 55.

Around 150 rc jet pilots from around the world gravitate to the event, which features acrobatic flights and demonstrations, competitions, sales displays offering the best of the rc jet world’s high-flying technology, and more. Most of those pilots bring their families, and by the time thousands of spectators join in, all under massive big top-style tents and blue skies, Jets Over Kentucky makes a huge footprint on the planet.

The event grows every year, and event organizer Lewis Patton of Louisville said he expects the 2020 version of Jets Over Kentucky to be the biggest ever.

So…it’s a huge event covering a lot of ground and activities.

Here’s what you need to know.



Because of changes in the FAA and AMA (Academy of Model Aeronautics) rules and regulations, the size of the model aircraft at this year’s event will be bigger…much bigger.

“We’ve always been know for the size of the aircraft we have at the event,” said Patton, “but this year that size will be noticeably bigger.”

Randy Brown from Texas will be there flying his 120-pound,16-foot long Citation jet that’s an rc version of the corporate jet he flies for his corporate customers.

Patton said he’s also communicating with multiple world champion rc pilot Vitaly Robertus, who hopes to be able to come from Russia to be at 2020 Jets Over Kentucky. (https://www.facebook.com/vitaly.robertus)


“Many of our activities and events are geared to ‘show off’ to the spectator,” said Patton. “We really do this on a grand scale. And yes, we welcome visitors. In fact, we’d really like to see even more visitors at the event.”

Jets Over Kentucky is a dazzling display of high technology and remote control flying skills that take place on the airport’s main runway, and is on display under three big top-style tents…and it’s all open to the public.

You can literally walk around at the place and ask, “How do I get started in this sport?” Pilots and equipment reps will literally get you educated and equipped on the spot.

And if you want to dazzle your kids…take them to this event.

Here are tips you need to know to visit:

~Flying gets underway each day of the event beginning at 8 a.m. and concludes at dark. All flying will be done from the main, 5,000-foot runway.

~Spectators may enter the displays, work areas and exhibits set up under the tents, and talk and interact with pilots and vendors about the sport and the technology involved. It’s best to wait for eye contact and/or approval before entering. Remember, you the visitor, you’re getting access to some really…really…really expensive stuff.

~There is an admission charge on Friday, July 17, 2020, and Saturday, July 18, 2020. Admission is $5 per person, children 12 and under free. “Those are two of our biggest days for spectators,” said Patton. There is no admission charge for all other days of the event.

~On Friday, July 17, 2020, after a full day of competitive flying there’ll be a Parade of Lights and fireworks at dusk. Saturday, July 18, 2020 “really is our main air show” as competitive flying competition heats up, and pilots compete for awards.

~Go to www.visitlebanonky.com while you’re preparing for your Jets Over Kentucky 2020 visit, and keep in touch while you’re here.

At the website you’ll find complete and updated lists of all the dining options and wonderful shopping options that’ll be open throughout the 2020 Jets Over Kentucky event, including both Friday and Saturday.

You can also do things like grab a tour at Limestone Branch Distillery or Maker’s Mark, or Kentucky Cooperage, where bourbon barrels are made. Lebanon is a crossroads of the Kentucky Bourbon Trail and the Kentucky Bourbon Trail Craft Tour. You’ll learn more about bourbon-themed attractions available near the Jets Over Kentucky 2020 experience by getting Marion County Trail details here: http://visitlebanonky.com/the-marion-county-trail/.

And also…visit the www.kentuckyclassicarts.com website for all the things Kentucky Classic Arts has at Centre Square. We guarantee…there’s something there for you to enjoy.

And www.visitlebanonky.com also has complete listings of where you can stay—including an updated listing of airbnbs—while visiting the event.

Also feel free to call the Lebanon Tourist & Convention office at 270.692.0021 if you need help planning your visit.

~Make sure you take a look at two 2020 Jets Over Kentucky Facebook pages, here https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100014917808695 and here https://www.facebook.com/JetsOverKY/, where new videos and photos are updated every day.

And there’s also the official 2020 Jets Over Kentucky official website, right here: www.jetsoverkentucky.com.


~The www.jetsoverkentucky.com website is a critical information source for pilots and participants. That’s where you’ll find the pilot registration form and registration payment portal.

~You can also find the signup tools here: http://visitlebanonky.com/buy-tickets/. Click on the Jets Over Kentucky pilot registration section, enter your registration fee in the cart and when you move to checkout you’ll see the form you need to complete.

~If you’re looking for a place to stay during the event, go to www.visitlebanonky.com and at the top of the page click on “where to stay.” You’ll find complete, updated listings, including for bed and breakfasts, RV parks, airbnbs and vacation rentals.

~If you’re looking for a place to dine at any time during your stay at 2020 Jets Over Kentucky, go to www.visitlebanonky.com and click on “where to dine” at the top of the page. You’ll find all your options, conveniently categorized.

~And finally, keep up with Lebanon’s tourism Facebook page here, https://www.facebook.com/VisitLebanon, because there are postings that’ll keep you updated with events and activities while you here for the week of 2020 Jets Over Kentucky.