Homecoming for some U.S. Navy Blue Angels
October 11, 2017 5:00 a.m.
Rome will serve as the homecoming site for several of the U.S. Navy Blue Angels pilots and crewmembers. The Wings Over North Georgia Air Show will take place on Oct. 21-22 at the Russell Regional Airport.
The event offers Atlanta and Chattanooga area residents a final chance to see the world famous gold-and-blue jets perform one last time before they close out a rigorous show season. The military flight demonstration team appeared at more than 35 different cities across the United States during its 2017 schedule. With only four events remaining in the season, record-breaking crowds are anticipated for the two-day air show in Rome.
For a select group of Blue Angels pilots and crewmembers, the Rome air show will be in familiar surroundings, allowing them to perform for family and friends. Sandy Springs High School graduate and Atlanta native Cmdr. Frank Weisser will perform in the No. 5 Lead Solo position for the team while North Cobb High School graduate and Kennesaw native Lt. Tyler Davies flies the No. 6 Opposing Solo aircraft. Both are looking forward to performing close to their hometowns in northwest Georgia.
The Blue Angels team includes other Georgia natives. Maj. Mark Montgomery from Cartersville is the pilot for the Blue Angels’ C-130 transport aircraft, affectionately known as “Fat Albert.” Airframes crewmembers Aviation Structural Mechanic 2nd Class (AM2) Demaude Prescott and Aviation Structural Mechanic 1st Class (AM1) Daniel Yater hail from Atlanta and Dacula, respectively; crew chiefs Aviation Ordnanceman 2nd Class (AO2) Aldriick Kittles and Aviation Structural Mechanic 2nd Class (AM2) Michael McDuffie call Waynesboro and Blackshear their hometowns; and Aviation Machinists Mate 1st Class (AD1) Shane Miller of the Power Plants crew will be near his hometown of Woodbine.
The Blue Angels will demonstrate the power and maneuverability of its F-18 fighter aircraft flying in tight formations and close passes, but a favorite part for many of the team members is visiting local area schools. Pilots and crewmembers conduct appearances at area schools to talk with students about careers in aviation and pursuing their dreams. A number of the Blue Angels team members will participate in school visits during the days prior to the air show.
In addition to the Blue Angels performance, the C-17 Globemaster III Demo Team will demonstrate the awesome power of the giant cargo aircraft known as “Fat Albert.” Weighing in at more than 300,000 pounds, the 174-foot long plane with a 169.8-foot wingspan will amaze spectators as the giant aircraft uses a departure climb angle of 35 degrees to reach an altitude of 1,500 feet before reaching the end of the runway.
Also at the WONG air show, seven-time world aerobatic champion Rob Holland and Sharpsburg, GA, resident Buck Roetman will perform rarely seen maneuvers in their solo aircraft performances. And for vintage warbird fans, the lineup also includes demonstrations by Scott Yoak’s P-51 Mustang and Jim Tobul’s F4U Corsair. Following their solo flights, the two aircraft will return together in their “Class of ‘45” air show demonstration. For a full list of performers and air show activities, visit www.wingsovernorthgeorgia.com