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Blue Angels to headline Wings Over North Georgia Airshow

ROME, Ga. — The sounds of autumn across north Georgia will became a bit louder as military and civilian aircraft perform aerobatic maneuvers during the Wings Over North Georgia Airshow in October headlined by the Blue Angels.

The popular northwest Georgia event will combine aviation’s top aircraft, live music, and great food into a family fun weekend. Ticket packages remain available for the airshow at Rome’s Richard B. Russell Airport on October 21 and 22.

Top military and civilian aircraft will scream across the flightline as fighter jets and aerobatic performers demonstrate gravity defying maneuvers. While on the ground, guests will receive an up close look and even go aboard a few of the dozens of popular planes and helicopters on static display.

The sixth annual Wings Over North Georgia will be the first headlined by America’s Pride, the U.S. Navy and Marines Blue Angels. And, for many of the Blue’s officers and enlisted, the Rome airshow will be a homecoming as they return to their native metro Atlanta for a brief visit.

Lead solo and Angel 5 pilot Commander Frank Weisser, and opposing solo and Angel 6 pilot LT Tyler Davies are native of Atlanta and Kennesaw, respectively. Even Blue Angels C-130 transport aircraft pilot Major Mark Montgomery is a native of nearby Cartersville. The homecoming will also include two metro Atlanta natives who maintain the airframes and hydraulics of the Blue’s F/A-18 Hornets, Chief Petty Officers Demaude Prescott and Daniel Yater.

Historic aircraft flown during World War II and into the jet age will sit poised on display as visitors receive an up close tour while military and civilian aircraft soar high above Rome’s Richard B. Russell Airfield.

New York’s Air National Guard’s C-17 Globemaster III will join the north Georgia air show to perform one flight demonstration on each weekend afternoon. The C-17 is a heavy lift air refueling aircraft capable of ferrying 170,500 pounds of cargo or up to 100 service personnel over long distances.

“Wings Over North Georgia has been hosting so many of the air show industry’s finest military jet demo teams, this is our first time hosting the NYANG C-17 Demo Team,” said air show Director Jim Hite on Monday. “Adding this heavy air lifter demo to the performer line-up headlining Blue Angels jet team and Fat Albert Airlines is just over the top for us retired Air Force tactical air lifters.”

Cowman’s team have announced the addition of the popular Smoke-n-Thunder Jet Truck to the Rome line up. Based in Castle Rock, Washington, the Jet Truck will join the previously announced pilot Bill Braack’s Jet Car to create the first airshow with two ground performs.

“It’s not everyday our air show guests gets an up close opportunity to witness these two flame throwing 350-plus m.p.h. Jet Powered vehicles perform together while producing over 35,000 Horsepower,” Cowman commented as he reviewed video of the Jet Truck from his office. “That’s equivalent to NASCAR’s entire Daytona 500 starting line-up”

The Hot Streak II Jet Truck uses twin jet engines mounted on a 1957 Chevy pick-up truck. Its pilot, Hayden Proffitt, will ignite the engines and the crowds will light up with the thrill of Smoke-n-Thunder.

The sleek jet car is scheduled to race an aircraft down the runway during the afternoon show. “As I’m experiencing 4.5 G’s as I accelerate down the runway, I’m paying attention to how the JetCar is handling, but also where my shut down marker is,” Bill said. “Everything happens very fast as I’m accelerating to nearly 400 m.p.h. — there’s no time for distractions.”

The USSOCOM Para-Commandos parachute demonstration team will also skydive from 12,000-feet above the crowd in a heart-felt patriotic moment to deliver the American flag. The power of this air show will also be created by the civilian performers who will take to the sky to pump up the aviation fans. Scott Yoak’s P-51D Mustang “Quicksilver”, Jim Tobul’s F4U Corsair, and Rob Holland’s MXS-RH aircraft are a few which will entertain the crowds.

Aircraft will scream across the crowds as fighter jets and aerobatic performers demonstrate gravity defying maneuvers. While on the ground, guests will be able to visit up close dozens of popular planes and helicopters.

Several civilian aerobatic flights include the Lucas Oil bi-plane flown by Michael Wiskus, the humorous Jelly-Belly Comedy Flight, and pilot Bob Carlton’s jet sail plane. Hometown flight demonstration team Tiger Flight will take to the air first to perform the missing man formation during the National Anthem.

“Advance tickets sales remains strong with sales to date over 100% over last year at this time,” said Cowman during a visit to the air show site. “It’s crazy, but great and our air show performer lineup is solid.” An Air Force veteran, Cowman expects over 75,000 will attend the two-day event.

Cowman paused as the sun began to set over the Rome airfield. As the American flag was lowered for the day he added in a hushed voice, “Being retired Air Force veterans, one of our key goals is to highlight our nation’s military strength and salute our veterans — from World War II to present day.”

Tickets for the Wings Over North Georgia remain available on-line at WingsOverNorthGeorgia.com, for VIP ticket packages for on-site reserved airport parking, family four-packs of tickets, box seating, patio seating, and chalet experiences. Guests interested in on-site camping options for the show can choose between premium infield and standard dry camping options.

Airport and remote parking lots will open each day at 7:30 a.m. and the gates will open to guests at 9:00 a.m. on Saturday and Sunday. The opening ceremonies will kick-off each day at 11:15 a.m. followed by the first flying performances at noon.

A massive Kids Zone play area will allow children of all ages to play and jump on aviation-themed bounce houses, educational activities, swings, and a climbing wall. Located inside the main gate, wristbands will be available for purchase for unlimited fun all day.

(Charles Atkeison reports on aerospace and technology, and will cover the Wings Over North Georgia. Follow his updates via social media @Military_Flight.)

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Written by Charles Atkeison

Charles Atkeison

Charles A Atkeison is a long time aerospace journalist having covered both military and civilian aviation, plus 30 space shuttle launches from Cape Canaveral. He has produced multimedia aerospace content for CNN, London's Sky News, radio, print, and the web for twenty years. From flying with his father at age 5 to soaring as a VIP recently with the Navy's Blue Angels and USAF Thunderbirds, Charles continues to enjoy all aspects of flight.

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