The Great Georgia Airshow
Falcon Field in Georgia’s beautiful Peachtree City hosted its 11th annual aviation fest on October 11th and 12th. Saturday’s show saw a combination of clouds, wind and beautiful Georgia sunshine. This time of the year, when the trees are starting to change colors they provide the airshow fans with a beautiful backdrop for some of the best aircraft displays you will ever see. The line up this year was a very impressive one. With such acts as the AeroShell Aerobatics AT-6G Texans, the AH-1 Cobra Gunship Sky Solders, Greg Koontz’s Super Decathlon and his J3 Cub comedy act, Kent Gordon’s Extra 300, Neal Darnell’s beautiful Flash Fire jet Truck with speeds approaching 300 mph, Jason Newburg’s fantastic painted Pitts Viper, Red Eagles Air sports “Magic in the Air”, Oregon Aero Sky Dancer. The Dixie Wings World War II aircraft (Dauntless SBD-5, C-45 Expediter, LT-6, B-5N Kate, PT-26, and P-51 “Red Nose”) making some nice flyby’s. To top off the day the crowd took full use of earplugs to watch the F16 East Coast Demo Team showing off what the F-16 could do.
The Heritage Flight featured the F16 and the P-51 Crazy Horse, what a patriotic sight. This year the crowd witnessed the F18 Hornet’s East Coast Demo Team flying the F-18’s and then the Legacy Flight with the F-18 and a Marine VMFT-20 F4U-4 Corsair. While the F-16 flew in from Dobbins ARB, the F18 landed at Falcon Field where the crowd got up close and personal. Capt. Tom “Sally” Fields did a great job taking off and landing the F-18 on this short 5300 ft. runway. The C-54 “Candy Bomber” was on static display celebrating the 60th anniversary of the Berlin Airlift. On Friday, the Candy Bomber made a flyby over the airport dropping parachute wrapped candy to the crowd. The fans had a special treat when one of Delta’s 757 (painted pink and white for Brest cancer awareness) made a few outstanding flybys. A Challenger 604 business jet owned by Ted Turner took off and demonstrated more flybys.
As the F18 Hornet taxied in front of me a fan turned and made a comment that, he never thought he would ever be that close to an F-18 or any of the rare warbirds present at the airshow.
This thought makes one think how much longer that we as airshow fans will be able to enjoy this experience. I have to commend the people who put on the airshow, they put safety first, but the crowd is never short changed, they get their monies worth of shear aircraft enjoyment.
The show announcer Scott Slade did an outstanding job as usual.
In past years, the organizers of this show have had a problem with busing the large crowd but this year they seemed to have solved the problem or at least really improved their procedures. The Great Georgia Airshow in Peachtree City is one of my favorite shows; I look forward to October with anticipation. All of the volunteers and staff not only made you welcome they took it a step further and almost made you feel at home. My sincere thanks go out to these individuals for a job well done.
By Carl Wilcox