Favorites who have performed in just about every show — like Michael Goulian and Buck Roetman — were back, along with Patty Wagstaff, Jim Tobal and Scott Yoak, for amazing aerobatic maneuvers along with the USSOCOM ParaCommandos Jump team. But it was clearly the Raptor, the Warthog and the Tora! Tora! Tora! demonstration that stole the show.
As eight different craft simulated Japanese Zero's strafing Pearl Harbor, pyrotechnic explosions rocked the audience and sent flames high into the sky. The narrator relived the history for the gigantic crowd and concluded the show with an audio tape of President Franklin D. Roosevelt's infamous address to Congress and the nation when he declared December 7, 1941 “a day that will live in infamy.”
"We can always top it but this is a great, great day," said Cowman. “We've exceeded our expectations with such a diverse line-up. I am happy with what we've produced this years."
Cowman said nothing is locked in for the 2019 show yet, but he said that at this point, he's shooting for a Labor Day weekend show.
"We're hoping to get that secured up in the next couple of months but we'll just wait and see how the cards are dealt out," Cowman said.
Fans lined up to get autographs with many of the aerobatic pilots after their shows. Goulian said he was essentially born into the aerobatic industry.
"I started flying when I was just 15 years old," Goulian said.
“My family had a flight school in Boston and I just fell in love with it."
He said the most challenging part of an air show is the concern about staying oriented.
"The airplane is rolling and you're actually looking at the runway to maintain your orientation. So at a place like this where the runways cross in the middle, believe it or not, staying oriented is very difficult," Goulian explained.
The Raptor, Warthog and a World War II era Mustang put the wraps on the show with incredible formation flying for three aircraft that were built during different eras and designed for different missions.
A big air show convention will be held in Las Vegas in December at which time the major military teams, the U.S. Navy Blue Angels and the U.S. Air Force Thunderbird, will announce their schedules for next year.
The show will be repeated today with the gates opening at 9 a.m. and the show beginning at noon.
Buck Roetman — Taken from a gopro mounted to the wing of Buck Roetman’s aircraft and shows footage from his air show demonstration. Buck is a Sharpsburg resident and flies a modified Pitts S2S and Rower flies a vintage Stearman. The video was captured on opening today, Oct. 13 at the Wings Over North Georgia Air Show in Rome.
Michael Goulian — Aerobatic performer Michael Goulian arrived in Rome fresh on the heels of a championship win during the Red Bull Air Races at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Oct. 7. The win at the Brickyard positions Goulian for a possible international series win in Texas during the final race of the season in November. Michael performs in an Extra 330SC.
Tora! Tora! Tora! — The team made a first time appearance during the seventh annual air show in Rome. The reenactment of the attack on Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7, 1941 is a powerful combination of warbird aircraft demonstrating dynamic military attack maneuvers, pyrotechnics, actual 1941 radio accounts, and a live narrative of the action.
Parade of Veterans — The highlight for the show is JLC AirShow Management’s signature event, the Veterans Parade of Honor. Veterans and active duty members of the U.S. Armed Forces were honored in a military tribute parade on Saturday and will be honored again on Sunday just prior to the demonstrations for the F-22 Raptor, A-10 Warthog, and re-enactment of the Pearl Harbor attack by Tora! Tora! Tora!