ROME, GA – The legendary United States Air Force Thunderbirds and country music icon Travis Tritt headline JLC AirShow Management's 5th annual Wings Over North Georgia Air Show at Rome’s Russell Regional Airport October 29th and 30th.
The Thunderbirds, officially known as the U.S. Air Force Air Demonstration Squadron, is an elite Air Combat Command unit of eight pilots, including six demonstration pilots, and more than 100 support personnel. The Thunderbirds are world-renown for their breathtaking mix of formation flying and solo routines. The famous four-jet diamond formation highlights the training and precision of Air Force pilots, while the lead and opposing solo aircraft showcase the extreme capabilities of the Lockheed Martin F-16 Fighting Falcon. This nimble, multi-role fighter has proven time and again to be one of the world’s best combat aircraft. The only modifications needed to outfit the fighter for air demonstrations are a smoke system and a custom paint job in Thunderbird red, white and blue.
The Thunderbirds fly an incredibly demanding schedule of 80 air demonstrations a year. During each 75-minute performance the pilots execute up to 40 precision high-speed maneuvers. America’s “Ambassadors in Blue” have thrilled more than 280 million people in all 50 states and 57 foreign countries.
In addition to the Thunderbirds three-time National Aerobatic Champion Patty Wagstaff and former US Unlimited Aerobatic Champ Mike Goulian lead a list of elite aerobatic performers. Both Wagstaff and Goulian rank among the world’s top airshow pilots, with reputations for pushing the envelope of aerobatic performance before millions of people each year. Both pilots agree that their approach to flying is best described as passionate and aggressive.
The non-stop air show action also features performances by the U.S. Navy’s F/A-18 Super Hornets Tactical Demonstration Team and the Sky Soldiers Cobra Demonstration Team, an elite group of former military aviators and their fleet of AH-1F Cobra Attack choppers. The U.S. Special Operations Command Para-Commandos skydiving team free falls for approximately 2 miles at speeds in excess of 120 mph before gently touching down at precisely on target. Buck Roetman, the “Mayor of the Airshow Industry,” pilots his Christen Eagle through a dizzying array of maneuvers while Kent Pietsch's Interstate Cadet aircraft provides some aerobatic comedy and a few heart stopping moments as he attempts a pinpoint landing atop a moving vehicle on the flight line. The roster also includes Lucas Oil’s Parachute Team and the high-octane aerobatics of Mike Wiskus, Bill Braack's powerful Smoke-N-Thunder Jet Car, Scott Yoak's Quicksilver P-51D Mustang and Jim Tobul’s F4U Corsair. All are scheduled to perform Saturday and Sunday.