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Popular Wings Over the Golden Isles Airshow Draws Top Attendance Numbers


Great weather and top military and civilian aerobatic performers drew better than expected crowds as coastal Georgia’s Wings Over the Golden Isles launched its inaugural airshow event during the three-day weekend.

Headline performers included the U.S. Navy’s Blue Angels, the Air Force F-22 Raptor, and AeroShell Aerobatic Team to the Peach State’s first coastal airshow in two decades. Air show management estimated by Sunday afternoon 55,000 visitors attended during the entire weekend.

“JLC AirShow Management is very appreciative of the support from the local community and hopes to make this an annual event for the Golden Isles area,” JLC AirShow Management president John L. Cowman said on Sunday. Organizers did hint that Brunswick would love to have the airshow back again next Spring.

“Local law enforcement, Fire officials, and the Brunswick-Golden Isles Airport were in place, and were tremendous and encouraging for a possible 2018 show,” Airshow spokesperson Brenda Little said at the close of Sunday’s final events. “We had expected 50,000 to attend, and so the extra 5% was a warm welcome for us and the entire airshow community.”

The airshow officially opened Friday night with the power of the F-22 and several civilian performers lighting up the darkening sky brief show. As night fell upon the airport, the patriotic music of Ladies for Liberty kicked-off a concert special headlined by the southern rock band .38 Special.

It wasn’t just the flying which attracted extra visitors to the Golden Isles air show. Saturday’s Parade of Veterans offered a unique tribute to those men and women who had served and are currently serving in the United States Armed Forces.

Bob Braack’s Smoke-n-Thunder JetCar, Michael Goulian piloting his Extra 330SC; Scott Yoak and his Quicksilver P-51D; and Buck Roetman and his yellow Christen Eagle also performed over the Golden Isles airfield. Several aircraft on static display attracted crowds of photographers each day as the rarely seen Navy’s F-35C Lightning II, and Donald Trump’s own Trump One stood poised near the airport’s flight line.

As April arrives, so will the 75th anniversary of the Doolitle Raiders flight to Tokyo. That mission occurred just four months following Pearl Harbor, and gave needed boost to the Allies fighting in the Pacific theater. On hand, a similar B-25 Mitchell Bomber performed during the show, and was later moved closer to the crowd for an upclose look at the historic aircraft.

(Charles Atkeison reports on aerospace and technology. Follow his live updates on social media via @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.