USAF Thunderbirds headline Wings Over Georgia this weekend - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

USAF Thunderbirds headline Wings Over Georgia this weekend

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The United States Air Force Thunderbirds will headline Wings Over Georgia this weekend. The United States Air Force Thunderbirds will headline Wings Over Georgia this weekend.
ROME, GA (WRCB) -

The star of this weekend's Wings Over Georgia was the United States Air Force Thunderbirds and country music icon Travis Tritt.

Three-time National Aerobatic Champion Patty Wagstaff and former US Unlimited Aerobatic Champ Mike Goulian led a list of elite aerobatic performers.

Country superstar Travis Tritt took the stage Saturday evening, treating the crowd to a set of his hits and a preview of his highly anticipated new release, "The Calm After…"

Tritt says he’s never been more passionate about performing. “I feel so humbled and blessed to be where I am right now,” says Tritt. “My voice has never been stronger, I’m constantly playing and working to become a better guitar player, banjo player, vocalist and songwriter. I am honestly as excited about the creative process and performing now as I was the day I signed my first record deal.”

Wagstaff and Goulian rank among the world’s top airshow pilots, with reputations for pushing the envelope of aerobatic performance before millions of people each year. Both pilots agree that their approach to flying is best described as passionate and aggressive.

More than 50,000 people at the show this weekend, saw performances by the U.S. Navy’s F/A-18 Super Hornets Tactical Demonstration Team and the Sky Soldiers Cobra Demonstration Team, an elite group of former military aviators and their fleet of AH-1F Cobra Attack choppers.

The U.S. Special Operations Command Para-Commandos skydiving team free falls for approximately 2 miles at speeds in excess of 120 mph before gently touching down at precisely on target. Buck Roetman, the “Mayor of the Airshow Industry,” pilots his Christen Eagle through a dizzying array of maneuvers while Kent Pietsch's Interstate Cadet aircraft provides some aerobatic comedy and a few heart stopping moments as he attempts a pinpoint landing atop a moving vehicle on the flight line. The roster also includes Lucas Oil’s Parachute Team and the high-octane aerobatics of Mike Wiskus, Bill Braack's powerful Smoke-N-Thunder Jet Car, Scott Yoak's Quicksilver P-51D Mustang and Jim Tobul’s F4U Corsair. All of them performed Saturday and Sunday.

Buck Roetmon, one of the performers this weekend says he's blessed to be able to do what he loves.

"Flying's my passion. you know it's a sickness. It's something you don't do because you want to. It's something you do because you have to, and it's just I'm one of the few blessed people in the world who gets to do something like this for a living," Roetmon says.

A similar feeling shared by U.S. Navy Lieutenant and Strike Fighter Squadron 106 member, Danielle Thiriot, agrees with.

"Getting to come out to a great place like Rome, Georgia and perform for the folks out here is an phenomenal. It's been really fun to interact with the community. It's been an incredibly welcoming environment all weekend. I've had more barbecue than I can hold. I've had my fill and it's been a great airshow," Thiriot says.

A weekend full of jaw dropping tricks Thiriot says are hard to pull off.

"We make it look easy hopefully for everyone watching on the ground, but the scan the quickness of a scan that you have to have to correctly employ all of these maneuvers and do it safely, which is a big key is pretty tough."

Tough moves that inspire some to one day perform on their own.

The Blue Angels will headline next year's airshow, which is scheduled for Oct. 21-22. Many of the performers who flew over the weekend plan to return.

For more information on next year's airshow click here: http://wingsovernorthgeorgia.com.

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