A 2001 Armuchee High School graduate will be returning to his hometown with the U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds for the upcoming Wings Over North Georgia drive-in air show.
The event, reconfigured for the coronavirus pandemic, is scheduled for Oct. 24-25 at Richard B. Russell Regional Airport in Rome.
Rome native Thomas “Nathan” Clonts is now a master sergeant in the Air Force, stationed at Nellis Air Base in Nevada. He’s the Thunderbirds’ maintenance production superintendent.
An avionics systems technician, Clonts’ duties include performing maintenance on the aircraft; troubleshooting malfunctions; and inspecting, removing and installing aviation electronic systems. He also works on air attack control, radar, laser instruments, flight control, communication and navigation systems.
The Thunderbirds’ enlisted team members are selected from units across the Air Force in a highly competitive hiring process.
Several other members of the team are Georgia natives.
Capt. Remoshay Nelson, Thunderbird 12, is from Douglasville. He leads the team’s marketing, publicity, and community relations program.
Tech. Sgt. Antwaun Westerfield of Atlanta is the flight chief for the airframe, powerplant and general aviation section. And Staff Sgt. Jimmy Navar of Jonesboro is a fuels system technician.
In addition to the Thunderbirds, the 2020 Wings Over North Georgia Drive-In Air Show will feature performances by the U.S. Air Force A-10 Thunderbolt II, F-16 Viper, and C-17 Globemaster II demonstration teams and the U.S. Army Special Operations Command Black Daggers Parachute Team.
Parking gates open at 10 a.m. and preshow aerial demonstrations begin at 11 a.m. on Saturday and Sunday. Preshow activities include airdrops and capabilities demonstrations from C-130-H3 Hercules aircraft from Dobbins Air Reserve Base. The SWAT Tactical Team from the Georgia State Patrol helicopter unit also will conduct demonstrations.
Opening ceremonies and flying demonstrations will start each day at about 12:30 p.m.
Parking tickets for the Drive-In Air Show are advance purchase only, through WingsOverNorthGeorgia.com. General admission is $130 per carload.
Each vehicle will be assigned a 10-by-20-foot space with an adjacent 10-by-20-foot private viewing area for tailgating. Guests are allowed to bring their own chairs, tables, nonalcoholic beverages and food. Beverages and food also will be available for sale on site.
Portable restrooms and wash stations will be placed throughout the venue and will be sanitized hourly. A mask is required when air show attendees leave their parking areas for restroom and concession visits.