ROME, GA; August 24, 2015 — With an overwhelming success during the 2014 airshow debut, the Veterans Parade of Honor returns to the 2015 Wings Over North Georgia airshow & BBQ Classic competition schedule on Saturday, October 3rd at Rome’s Russell Regional Airport. JLC AirShow Management was searching for a special way to honor our nation’s servicemen & women (past and present) during the airshow weekend activities. As the estimated 2,000+ service veterans assembled and walk the entire taxiway, there were loud-everlasting rounds of applause from the huge crowds noting very few dry eyes from both the veterans and fans supporting these American Hero’s!
As the Ladies for Liberty trio sang patriotic songs, these American Heroes passed in review preparing the fans for the arrival of the USAF Thunderbirds performance. This years Veterans Parade of Honor will begin with a parachute demonstration by the joint services USSOCOM Paracommados as they fly each of the services flags in along with the MIA/POW flag. The jump team will join our veterans by leading this years Parade of Honor along the more than 3000′ of taxiway for the attending crowds to again salute!
During the parade an honor flight consisting of WWII era P-51 Mustang, F4-U Corsair and B-25 Bomber will fly overhead with an aerial salute to these service veterans. With a world-class performer lineup headlining the USAF F-22 Raptor, USN F/A-18 Hornet & Super Hornet, USMC MV-22 Osprey and GEICO Skytypers Demonstration Teams, Saturday’s schedule will reach the peak that evening with country music’s hall of fame legend and our veterans #1 fan & voice of support The Charlie Daniels Band in concert. The evening will close out with a Patriotic Fireworks Grand Finale.
“When asked what we could do to top last year’s Thunderbirds show; that was going to be very tough, but we have met the challenge with another outstanding line-up of world-class performers, competition teams and attractions,” said John Cowman, President of JLC AirShow Management. “We sure hit a home run with the Veterans Parade of Honor last year that resonates with both the airshow fans & veterans which goes a long way toward accomplishing those ends.”
With only 40 days left before we open the gates to North Georgia’s #1 rated family weekend event, the 2015 advance airshow ticket sales are very strong, now projecting all Saturday premium seating options to sell out much earlier! Fans can take advantage of the current Back To School 20% Discounted advance daily General Admission and Reserved Airport Parking tickets available through August 31st! All remaining premium seating and Charlie Daniels Band concert reserved seating options are also available for purchase at www.WingsOverNorthGeorgia.com along with the current list of performers, BBQ Classic competition teams, show information and attractions. The airshow news and updates can also be found on Facebook & Twitter.
ROME, GEORGIA; August, 2015 – A 31-year-old Navy pilot from Stone Mountain, Georgia is set to become the loudest graduate of Parkview High School when he roars an F/A-18 Super Hornet over airshow crowds at Wings Over North Georgia. That’s because LT. Wallace “Gump” Miller is the tactical demonstration pilot for Naval Air Station Oceana’s VFA-106, performing this October in Rome, Georgia.
“This is my first time performing in an airshow for my hometown and I couldn’t be more excited,” said LT. Miller. “I remember my dad taking me to airshows as a kid and that, plus being from a very patriotic family, inspired me to pursue aviation in the military.”
The only thing that would make the W.O.N.G. airshow more exciting is if he could buzz his old high school, Parkview, on the way to the airport in Rome. “The FAA frowns on that kind of thing,” he said, laughing. “Especially since, with the tac demo team, I get to put the Super Hornet through maneuvers at much lower altitudes than most pilots ever get to fly.”
LT. Miller attended the U.S. Naval Academy after graduated from Parkview in 2002 and returned home to get a Master’s degree from Georgia Tech in 2007. All of which helps him train future Navy pilots as a flight instructor for the Super Hornet Strike Fighter when he isn’t performing at airshows.
“Airshows are captivating and really motivate students,” he said. “But making the leap to pursuing a career in military aviation is really helped by the emphasis on science and technology curriculum in high schools today. As more students are exposed to the amazing opportunities out there they’ll be able to transition from the dream that is inspired by airshows.”
Designed as an all-weather jet fighter and attack aircraft, the F/A-18 Hornet is the nation’s first strike-fighter. The Super Hornet flown by LT. Miller also carries a Weapons Systems Officer in the cockpit and demonstrates the unique dual role of the Strike Fighter in modern day warfare.
LT. Miller will demonstrate the Super Hornet on Saturday, October 3rd and LT. John “Toby” Keith will fly a standard F/A-18 Hornet on Sunday. They’ll be joined by a stellar lineup of active duty military jet teams, including the USAF’s F-22 Raptor and the USMC’s MV-22 Osprey.
“Being retired Air Force veterans ourselves, one of our key goals was to highlight our nation’s military strength and salute our veterans, from WWII to present day,” John Cowman, Airshow President, said.
The Wings Over North Georgia Airshow and Smoke-n-Thunder BBQ Classic is an FAA, DOD, KCBS, GBC and International Council of Air Shows-recognized event that is rated North Georgia’s #1 family weekend event attracting more than 80,000 attendees. In addition to a full roster of world-class aerobatic and military performers and two days of professional and backyard barbeque competitions, the Charlie Daniels Band is headlining the concert series this year.
August 7, 2015 –The roar of military and civilian aircraft highlighting the Wings Over North Georgia Air Show in October will became a bit louder as officials announce the additions of new key performers in the air and on the ground.
Advanced tickets sales remain available for the annual autumn air show at Rome’s Richard B. Russell Airport on October 3 and 4. The popular northwest Georgia event combines aviation, music and hometown bar-b-que into a fun family weekend.
The U.S. Air Force F-22 Raptor and Navy’s F/A-18 Super Hornet will join the Marine Corps’ MV-22 Osprey and the civilian GEICO Skytypers SNJ-2 aircraft as headline performers, air show president John Cowman confirmed on Thursday. The iconic Charlie Daniels Band will also add some thrust during a concert series after the air show on Saturday followed by a patriotic fireworks display.
“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.
An opening ceremony featuring the Budweiser Clydesdale horses will kick-off the first day of the show at 12:30 p.m. A parachute demonstration team will also skydive above the crowd in a heart-felt patriotic moment to deliver the American flag.
Aircraft will scream across the crowds as fighter jets and aerobatic performers demonstrate gravity-defying maneuvers near the mountains of north Georgia. While on the ground, guests will be able to visit up close and tour dozens of popular planes and helicopters from the last seventy-five years.
A fifth-generation fighter aircraft, the Raptor will dazzle the crowds as pilot Major John Cummings puts the war bird through many unbelievable maneuvers. The Langley Air Force Base F-22 will conclude each day’s performance with a crowd favorite joint formation flight with two WWII-era P-51 Mustangs known as the Heritage Flight.
“These maneuvers are based on those designed for combat operations, but are performed at much lower altitudes than most pilots are certified to fly,” Cowman added as he stood on the airport’s tarmac. “We’re thrilled that the F-22’s debut performance at Wings Over North Georgia is also the last chance to see this demonstration in American skies this year.”
This first flight of an F-22A at Wings will also be a homecoming visit for the aircraft. The Raptor fleet were built and processed at the nearby Lockheed Martin Aeronautics plant in Marietta between 1990 and 2012.
The F/A-18 Super Hornet demo team will make a return visit to Rome. Piloted by LT John “Toby” Keith and Stone Mountain native LT Wallace “Gump” Miller, the Hornet is a first-attack fighter based on land and aboard aircraft carriers around the globe.
“The GEICO Skytypers are returning to WONG for the third year in a row, flying vintage SNJ “pilot makers” familiar to all pilots of the Greatest Generation,” Skytypers spokesperson Brenda Little stated on Thursday. “They’ll also be skytyping giant messages in the sky above the airshow honoring all the branches of the armed services.”
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.
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.”