ROME, Ga. — World and national aerobatic champion pilots will take to the autumn skies in October demonstrating high performance maneuvers and a dizzying array of 360-degree turns during the Wings Over North Georgia air show.
Top civilian pilots are poised to join the pilots of popular military aircraft, including the F-22 Raptor and A-10C Thunderbolt II, at Rome’s Richard Russell Airport on October 13 and 14. The family-fun show will combine aviation, popular music, and great food into a full weekend.
The first lady of aerobatics Patty Wagstaff will return to the north Georgia show as she performs twist-and-turn maneuvers and low-level high speed flying. Piloting her German-built EXTRA 300XL monoplane, the U.S. National Aerobatic Champion will demonstrate rolls while climbing straight up as she pushes her aircraft to the limits each day.
“Every low-level performance and every maneuver is styled and executed to demonstrate the precision, artistry, and heart-stopping excitement of a perfectly executed aerobatic maneuver,” Wagstaff said recently during a plane-side visit.
In the year following her win as the International Aerobatic Champion of 1993, the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum placed her Extra 260 airplane on display next to that of Amelia Earhart’s Lockheed Vega. Her aircraft remains there to this day.
Red Bull Air Race pilot Michael Goulian has performed in Austria, Hungary, Russia, France, Japan, and the United States during 2018. When he is not performing during the popular Red Bull Air Races he is piloting his EXTRA 330SC during air shows including EAA Oshkosh and Rome.
Michael has a busy October lined up as he resumes Red Bull in Indianapolis on October 6 and 7, followed by the Rome air show, and the NAS Jacksonville air show on October 27 and 28.
“I would have to say there’s no such thing as a break for our team ever, so we did what we always do, which is work and fly airplanes,” Mike said while in Kazan, Russia in August. “But that’s what we love.”
Veteran aerobatic performer Buck Roetman will soar over the Russell Airfield performing unique maneuvers as he pilots his modified Pitts S2S. Past air show guests know of his popular yellow bi-plane as it pirouettes — smoke-on — in the openness of the blue sky.
One of Roetman’s favorite stunts is the Ribbon Cut. Soaring at over 200 m.p.h. and 18 feet above the deck, his Pitts aircraft will slice a thin ribbon stretched across the width of the runway. Buck insists that this is no easy feat.
“Each year, we carefully assemble a lineup of acts that perform the top demonstrations in the industry, but also want to show a lot of diversity in the type of flights and aircraft that participate,” said John Cowman, president of JLC Air Show Management who is bringing the Rome air show back for a seventh consecutive year. “With Buck, Patty, and Mike, we have three of the absolute and most diverse performers in the industry.”
World Air Race Champion of 2016 and Reno National Air Race pilot Scott Farnsworth will also take to the skies over Rome to demonstrate his own style of aerobatics. Scott will perform in a former Czech Republic trainer, the L-39 Albatros.
Unlike most aerobatic performers, Scott’s plane is a jet aircraft capable of high gravity-force climbs and high speed passes. His blue L-39 will add a little extra to the show’s performance line up.
“(Scott’s) prowess as a championship racer seamlessly translates into an air show demonstration packed with high speed passes, turns, and aerobatics,” said Brenda Little, spokesperson for the Rome Air Show. “His single-engine aircraft can reach speeds exceeding 550 mph with a rate of climb of 4,130 feet per minute.”
Tickets for the Wings Over North Georgia remain available. VIP ticket packages, airport reserved parking passes, and general admission tickets remain available as of today. Ms. Little notes that select ticket packages tend to sell out in the weeks prior to the show.
(Charles A Atkeison reports on aerospace and technology. Follow his updates via social media @Military_Flight.)