ROME, Ga. — The precision flying of the Air Force Thunderbirds plus the nation’s top aerobatic pilots are just a few scheduled to perform this weekend during the Wings Over North Georgia Airshow.
The Air Force’s F-16C Viper and A-10C Thunderbolt II Demonstration Teams will provide the extra excitement. Rome’s Richard B. Russell Airfield is center stage for an incredible line-up on Saturday and Sunday.
In this era of Covid concerns, the two-day event will be formatted as a drive-in air show. It is the only accepted air show format by the Air Force.
“Our 2020 air show will feature more military demonstration teams than we’ve ever hosted during a single event,” JLC AirShow Management President John Cowman said. “To address current safety concerns and the need for social distancing, we’re using a drive-in format for this year’s air show.”
Thunderbirds Return to North Georgia
Rome marks the fifth of six planned air shows by the Thunderbirds this year. In May, they performed a flyover of metro Atlanta to honor healthcare workers on the frontlines of Covid 19.
Their six F-16C Fighting Falcons will perform a nearly 45-minute flight demonstration each day. Four diamond jets flying a tight formation, while two solo jets perform high speed passes.
The Rome air show will be a homecoming for Thunderbird 12 officer Capt. Remoshay Nelson. The first year public affairs officer is looking forward to visiting with family from her hometown of Douglasville.
“I am excited for Wings over North Georgia and look forward to returning home to perform for my friends, family, and the Rome community,” Capt. Nelson told AvGeekery.com on Monday. “It is my hope our aerial demonstration can bring some pride and inspiration for air show attendees.”
Capt. Nelson, call sign “Flare”, has flown in the backseat of the F-16D jet from time to time. So we asked her, “what is your favorite maneuver?”
“When I’m flying I enjoy the vertical rolls and when I’m on the ground I like the High Alpha,” Capt. Nelson explained. “Both of these maneuvers show the capabilities and diversity in maneuverability of the aircraft.”
The Military & Civilian Performers and Airshow Insight
A Dobbins ARB C-130J Hercules will also take to the skies over the autumn colors of north Georgia. A C-17 Globemaster III aircraft from Tacoma, Wash. is also scheduled to perform.
Civilian performers include Michael Goulian, Michael Wiskus, Matt Younkin, and Buck Roetman performing aerobatic maneuvers. A few warbirds, including Scott Yoak’s P-51D Mustang and the B-25J Mitchell bomber Panchito, are also scheduled to perform.
Cowman confirms tickets are sold online only for both days. A food court area and restrooms will be available each day.
“We ask that when you frequent either the restrooms or any of the vendors that you wear your mask and respect the six-foot rule of distance between fellow airshow attendees,” Cowman added.
(Charles A Atkeison reports on aerospace and technology. Follow his updates via social media @Military_Flight.)