NEW PREMIUM INFIELD CAMPING – Fans can now experience all the world-class air show action headlining the USAF THUNDERBIRDS at Rome’s Russell Regional Airport this Oct 29-30th at the new premium infield camping center experience. These prime infield style camping spaces makes an excellent option for families to enjoy all the weekend activities directly from the airport grounds. The premium infield camping experience is directly positioned adjacent to the flight-line and concert area ensuring guests are in the middle of the air show and concert series action. These limited available premium infield camping spaces offer both asphalt and grass options with complete RV hookups.
Premium Infield Camping Experience Package includes: Camping Space (20’ x 40’); 2-General Admission Weekend Passes; 1-Airport Premium Camping Parking Pass; 30/50 Amp Power Supply (min 50’ power cord required); Water (min 50’ hose required); 1-Pump Out Service.
Air Show Premium Infield Camping Experience guests can arrive as early as noon on Thursday to see the pilots, aircrew and teams arrive and rehearse on Friday.
Reserve your Air Show Premium Infield Camping Experience space today on-line or call the air show office at (706) 291-0030. All major credit cards are accepted.
*Motor-Homes, 5th Wheels & Pull Behind Units Only (No Tent Camping). Additional premium seating options are available on-line at — WingsOverNorthGeorgia.com (Box-Bleachers, Chalets & Reserved Concert Seating). Photos depicted are for example purposes only.
ROME, GEORGIA; September 30, 2015 – Fans attending this weekend’s 2015 Wings Over North Georgia Air Show at Rome’s Russell Regional airport can show their support for children in the Rome, GA area by participating in the event’s Toys for Tots Toy Drive.
Attendees are asked to donate a new, unwrapped toy for the drive. Each person bringing a toy to contribute will receive a discount coupon for 15% off their entire check during their next visit to any participating Outback Steakhouse in GA or TN.
“Toys collected will be provided to children in Chattooga, Floyd and Polk Counties that would otherwise have a bleak Christmas,” states Greater Rome Area Toys for Tots Coordinator Hal Gosnell. “97% of all donations to Toys for Tots goes towards providing toys for the program as no salaries or personnel costs are paid from donations. All of the Greater Rome chapter members are volunteers as we are truly about providing joy and happiness to the children in our community.”
Toys will be collected near the entrance to the air show this Saturday and Sunday, October 3-4 from 9am until the event closes. “We’re very thankful to have the support of the Northwest Georgia area air show fans that want to help the families in our community by participating in this program that helps so many,” shares Air Show Organizer John Cowman
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 Saturday evening concert series this year.
For additional information on the air show, BBQ competition, Charlie Daniels and other performers, please visit http://wingsovernorthgeorgia.com. For more information on the Toys for Tots program, please visit http://toysfortots.org.
The U.S. Navy Tactical Flight Demonstration Team will return for the annual air show October 3 and 4 over Rome’s Richard Russell Regional Airport. A pair of F/A-18 Hornets will arrive two days in advance to prepare for their flights before the crowds.
Known throughout the Navy’s fleet operations as a cost effective, low maintenance aircraft, the Hornet can perform air-to-air and air-to-ground combat missions. The F/A-18 E/F Super Hornet series can fly nearly 40% farther and deliver more payload ordnance than the F/A-18 C/D.
The F/A18C is the same aircraft flown by the Navy’s Blue Angels. However, the TAC Demo’s version is not stripped down and painted in high gloss blue and yellow. Instead, the traditional Navy gray color and the TAC Demo’s logo decorate the military’s high performance strike fighter.
F/A-18 instructor pilot LT. Wallace “Gump” Miller will be behind the stick as his jet takes-off for a nearly twenty minute afternoon performance. The team will fly their classic F/A-18C and the newer F/A-18F Super Hornet during the show, with LT. Miller flying the “Rhino” or F-series with LT. Ben “Bueller” Kovesci on Saturday, and fellow pilot LT. John “Toby” Keith flying the “Charlie” on Sunday.
A member of Naval Air Station Oceana’s Strike Fighter Squadron 106 – nicknamed the Gladiators – Gump is proud to represent his home base and enjoys his role as instructor. Oceana’s primary mission is to train and graduate new Navy and Marine F/A-18 replacement pilots and weapon systems officers for operations in the fleet.
Gump joined this aerospace reporter as we walked the flight line on Tuesday as he inspected his aircraft, and enjoyed a rare moment to pause during an otherwise busy day. The fighter pilot, dressed in his tan flight suit, was all smiles as I began to ask about how it feels to soar aboard and perform carrier landings with the Super Hornet.
“It’s a ton of fun to fly on a daily basis and it’s a huge honor to have the opportunity, too,” LT. Miller began as we stood in his aircraft’s shadow. “There’s at least 30 seconds of every flight where you get to sit back and think ‘I can’t believe I get to do this’. It’s pretty awesome!”
The all-weather strike fighter has become the Navy’s benchmark as a 21st century aircraft. A few extra design features include the ability to cruise at an altitude of over 51,000 feet and fly at nearly two times the speed of sound or Mach 1.7; and it has an operating range of nearly 1,300 nautical miles or with the addition of three external fuel tanks has a flight radius of 1,660 nautical miles.
“We take a lot of pride executing our mission from aircraft carriers at sea,” Gump continued. “The catapult accelerates us from 0 to 150 m.p.h. in less than two seconds. It’s the most exhilarating roller coaster ride you could ever hope to experience; and then the arrested landing is kinda the opposite 150 to 0 m.p.h. in less than two seconds or so. It’s somewhat like a controlled car crash. It’s something that takes a lot of focus you never get totally comfortable with.”
The Gladiators have participated during several air shows across the eastern half of the United States this season. One of their final show stops of 2015 will headline Rome’s Wings Over North Georgia. I asked Gump to take us through a few of the demonstration maneuvers he will perform on show day.
“If it’s a beautiful weather day we’ll start the show with a Dirty Roll on take-off. We then will execute a Half Cuban 8, recovering right in front of show center.” The Naval pilot added he will perform “a minimum radius turn right before the crowd to show our ability to sustain 7.5 G’s (nearly eight times the force of gravity) through 360-degrees of turn.”
Expect to see the Super Hornet perform “a high speed pass where I will get right up to, but just under, the speed of sound at about .95 Mach,” Gump states. Following several more dynamic maneuvers, the demonstration will include high altitude climbs combined with fast and slow (High Alpha Pass) speed characteristics of the aircraft, “Because in some flight missions it’s just as important to fly slow as it is to fly fast,” Lt. Miller adds.
The Georgia native carries a lot of pride and you can hear it in his tone as we discussed the ability of the Hornet. He pointed out, “I really enjoy doing the low transition after the first touch-and-go, but the whole show is a ton of fun.”
Gump, 31, was raised in metro Atlanta near Stone Mountain graduating from Parkview High in 2002. After stops at U.S. Naval Academy and earning a Masters degree at Georgia Tech, the military aviator then earned his wings of gold at Naval Air Station Kingsville, Texas.
LT. Miller recalled his earliest influences with flying began at home, “I remember from a young age my dad used to show the opening scene of Top Gun — that was about the coolest thing I’ve ever seen. Then I went to a few air shows around the state and was always very interested in aviation and space. In my senior year of high school when 9/11 happened that further increased my desire to have the opportunity to fly and serve the country.”
I turned the conversation to ask Gump about his air show flight day rituals, “I don’t have any particular habits, but I’m a big breakfast guy. I’m sure at Wings Over North Georgia I can find some grits and eggs,” he laughed. “Then I’ll go for a little run before going to the show site.” He earned his “Gump” call sign for his love of running in relation to the title character who crosses the United States on foot in the hit movie “Forest Gump”.
“An hour before I actually go fly, I’ll find some time to sit down and do some final preparations before flying,” Lt. Miller continued. “I’ll sit down with some imagery (of the air show region) and chair fly or rehearse. I’ll brief with my Weapons Systems Officer LT. Kovesci who’ll be in the back seat during the demonstration, and again we’ll rehearse all the comm(unications) and maneuvers before we go fly the show.”
Gump added that the Navy’s TAC Demo Team regularly provides interesting articles and rare images via social media, “If you look up U.S. Navy TAC Demo page on Facebook it’s a great place to follow along.”
As our discussion concluded, LT. Miller’s attention turned towards a nearby runway as a Hornet began a vertical climb straight up at over 300 m.p.h. The instructor pilot then nodded with a slight smile in approval as the jet’s roar swept over the tarmac, and the aircraft sped off toward the blue horizon.
ROME, GA; September 2, 2015 — Air Show Fans, are you ready for North Georgia’s #1 rated family weekend event? The 2015 Wings Over North Georgia airshow & Smoke-n-Thunder BBQ Classic competition is a short 30-days away! This years aerial action headlines the the world’s most lethal jet fighter aircraft, the USAF F-22 Raptor, along with the USN F/A-18 Hornet & Super Hornets, USMC MV-22 Osprey and GEICO Skytypers Flight Demonstration Teams, but that’s not all; there’s many more world-class aerobatic & warbird performers scheduled both days with our special Saturday evening concert series guest — Country Music’s Hall of Fame artist “The Charlie Daniels Band“.
A single General Admission ticket gets our fans all this entertaimment including the Smoke-n-Thunder BBQ Classic “DOUBLE” competition featuring the worlds best pitmasters going head to head for over $25,000 in prize monies! The airshow schedule has the airshow gates opening at 10:00am. We kick the flying activities off at 11:30am on Saturday morning with the openining ceremonies. These ceremonies include the performer-team introductions along with the world famous Budweiser Clydesdales Hitch Team stepping high for the fans along the entire taxiway crowd line!
With only 30 days remaining, advance ticket sales remain strong, now projecting all Saturday premium seating options will completely sell out! Airshow fans can take advantage of any remaining advance premium seating tickets & ticket packages! There are plenty of daily Saturday & Sunday General Admission & Reserved Airport Parking tickets along with Saturday evening’s Charlie Daniels Band concert reserved seating. All remaining air show ticket options can be reviewed at the official www.WingsOverNorthGeorgia.com web site. Current air show news and event updates can also be found on Facebook & Twitter accounts.
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.”
ROME, GA; July 24, 2015 — The iconic Budweiser Clydesdales are coming to the 2015 Wings Over North Georgia air show on Saturday, October 3 at Rome’s Russell Regional Airport. They’re celebrating their 82nd anniversary with Anheuser-Busch this year. The Budweiser Clydesdales joins a world-class performer lineup headlining the USAF F-22 Raptor, USN F/A-18 Hornet, USMC MV-22 Osprey and GEICO Skytypers Demonstration Teams along with country music’s hall of fame legend The Charlie Daniels Band. The hitch team will be part of Saturday’s air show opening ceremonies saluting our fans, performers and military veterans in attendance.
The hitch team and red wagon will appear on Saturday at the Russell Regional Airport during the fourth annual Wings Over North Georgia air show & BBQ Classic competition, where fans can interact with the hitch team. The Budweiser Clydesdales were first introduced to the public on April 7, 1933; to celebrate the repeal of Prohibition. August A. Busch, Jr. presented the hitch as a gift to his father, August Anheuser Busch, Sr. The hitch proceeded to carry the first case of post-Prohibition beer from the St. Louis brewery in a special journey down Pestalozzi Street in St. Louis.
Today, the traveling hitches are on the road at least 10 months every year based out of St. Louis, Missouri; Merrimack, New Hampshire and Fort Collins, Colorado. There are ten horses that travel on each team. Eight are in harness when performing at any one time and the other two horses provide alternates for the hitch as needed. Several professional handlers accompany each team. Often, one handler has night duty to provide round-the-clock care for the horses.
Transportation for each hitch requires three 50-foot semi transporters. Two units carry the horses; the third unit transports a red, white and gold beer wagon and other team support equipment. The horses’ comfort is enhanced with air-cushion suspension and thick rubber flooring, and cameras in the trailers enable the drivers to watch the horses during transport. The team stops each night at local stables.
An obedience-trained Dalmatian dog also travels with each hitch, a Budweiser tradition since the 1950s. When the team performs today, the Dalmatians sit on the wagon, seated next to the driver. The wagons are Studebaker wagons modified to carry beer, originally manufactured circa 1900.
“When asked what we could do to top last year’s USAF Thunderbirds performance; that was going to be tough, but we have met the challenge with another outstanding line-up of world-class performers, teams and attractions,” said John Cowman, President of JLC AirShow Management. “This addition featuring the world famous Budweiser Clydesdales goes a long way toward accomplishing those ends. We want to thank our Anheuser Busch beverage partner Eagle Rock Distributors for supporting this event and working hard to get the Budweiser Clydesdales here on Saturday to participate in the opening ceremonies at the annual Wings Over North Georgia air show and BBQ Classic competition.”
With a family event of this magnitude, the 2015 advance air show ticket sales are very strong, projecting all premium seating options will sale out early this summer! Fans can take advantage now of the July 20% Discounted advance daily general admission and reserved airport parking tickets now through July 31st! All remaining premium seating and reserved Charlie Daniels Band concert seating options are on sale at www.WingsOverNorthGeorgia.com along with the current list of performers, show information and attractions. The air show can also be found on Facebook & Twitter.