|The Blue Angels precision flying team
will be the main attraction of the Great Georgia Air Show, Oct. 31-Nov.
1. About 90,000 spectators are expected at the two-day show at Falcon
Field in Peachtree City. CONTRIBUTED BY U.S. NAVY
Though traffic may crawl on the ground, the fighter jets up above will be crossing the Atlanta skies at 700 mph during the Great Georgia Air Show on Halloween weekend.
The show will bring vintage warplanes, aerobatic biplanes and the U.S. Navy Flight Demonstration Squadron, also known as the Blue Angels, to Atlanta Regional Airport in Peachtree City.
It will be a rare outing for
the Blue Angels in Atlanta. Expect crowds, said Peachtree City Police
Department spokesman Lt. Mark Brown.
“The military usually brings a lot of people,” said Brown, whose department is coordinating security for the event.
show director Tony DellaTorre said he’s planning to welcome 45,000
visitors a day, or 90,000 for the two-day event, Oct. 31 and Nov. 1.
That would beat attendance at Taylor Swift’s Oct. 24 show, even if she sells out the Georgia Dome.
|Mike Goulian is an air show superstar
with more than 20 years of experience. He will be part of the Great
Georgia Air Show, Oct. 31-Nov. 1. CONTRIBUTED BY MIKE GOULIAN
DellaTorre said, “Our first mission is to be the greatest family-friendly event in Atlanta.”
Here are some of the highlights:
The Blue Angels
This squadron was formed in 1946, making it the oldest formal precision flying team in the country.
is composed of active-duty Navy and Marine aviators, flying the Boeing
FA-18, which has a top speed of Mach 1.8, or 1,190 mph.
Their 90-minute show includes tight
formation flying, mirror formations (with two planes flying back to back
or belly to belly), close passes and other maneuvers.
the Blue Angels were briefly halted during the 2013 season after Defense
Department funds were reduced by the sequestration (a form of budget
cuts). The 2014 season resumed as usual, and there are 65 scheduled
performances in 2015.
Mike Goulian and Sean Tucker
Goulian was the youngest pilot ever to win the National Advanced
Aerobatic Championship in 1990 at the age of 22. Sean Tucker has flown
more than 1,200 shows since the mid-1970s, and is considered one of the
living legends of flight.
The two pilots will warm up the crowds
for the Blue Angels, along with the team flying the “Screamin’
Sasquatch,” a one-of-a-kind modified biplane with a jet engine strapped
to its underside.
The U.S. Navy Parachute Team,
aka the Leap Frogs, will be trailing streamers of smoke and performing
gymnastics in the air, as they navigate their ram-air parachutes above
first day of the air show (Oct. 31) takes place at the same time as the
hallowed SEC showdown between the University of Georgia Bulldogs and the
University of Florida Gators. Bowing to the inevitable, air show
organizers have arranged a way to satisfy football fans by broadcasting
the game in the middle of the Falcon Field on two 150-square-foot LED
screens in a tent that can accommodate 5,000 people.
Vintage craft, monster trucks, and more
An enormous number of other attractions will provide activities from 9 a.m. until 6 p.m., including a concert by country singer RaeLynn on Oct. 31, monster truck rides, displays of vintage craft, Warbird rides and helicopter flights.
Children can also “trick-or-treat” for candy and bounce in a Kid Zone.
Great Georgia Air Show operates as a nonprofit that puts on one show a
year, and has donated $2 million over the past 17 years to 60 charity
groups. About 1,400 volunteers will help out over the two-day weekend.
said show organizers have taken significant precautions to make sure
all participants remain safe, keeping audiences 1,500 feet from the
flight line and dispersing medical and security personnel throughout the
facility. “Safety is the driving force behind everything we do,” he
For safety reasons, some nearby facilities will be closed on
the days of the event, including Lake McIntosh and Dividend Road,
according to Brown, the Peachtree City police spokesman. To check on
traffic conditions and other closings, go to the Peachtree City Police Department and Fire Department Facebook page.
Great Georgia Air Show, featuring the Blue Angels
a.m.-6 p.m. Oct. 31-Nov. 1. Tickets: adults, $25; youths (6-12), $15;
children (3-5), $5; under 3, free. Parking: $15; $12 in advance.
Coolers, weapons and beach umbrellas are not permitted. Lawn chairs and
regular umbrellas are welcome. Atlanta Regional Airport, Falcon Field, 7
Falcon Drive, Peachtree City. 855-332-4427, www.thegreatgeorgiaairshow.com.