Military acts roar at airshow

Tue, 09/22/2009 - 4:20pm
By: The Citizen

Jet noise, affordable family fun in Peachtree City

Thundering jet engines, precision parachuting, scorching jet trucks and vintage warbirds will mark the 12th edition of The Great Georgia Airshow (GGAS) to be held at Falcon Field Saturday, Oct. 10 and Sunday, Oct. 11. The aviation festival, presented by the Kiwanis Club of Peachtree City and the Commemorative Air Force’s (CAF), Dixie Wing, will again showcase modern and historic military aircraft, thrilling aerobatics and activities for the entire family.

“All four military services will participate in the air show this year” explained Bill Lasher, Airshow Director “creating a spectacular show that also honors our nation’s Armed Forces”

The Golden Knights, the U.S. Army’s precision parachute team, will be begin the festivities by demonstrating the skill that has won the group 21 national championships and 8 world titles over the last 50 years. Each day will also feature the Marine AV-8B Harrier II, Air Force A-10 Thunderbolt and Navy FA-18 Super Hornet Demonstrations Teams.

The Harrier is famous for its ability to hover, while the Thunderbolt is a twin-engine jet designed for close air support. 2009 marks the first year a Super Hornet will scream in the skies above Peachtree City. Aircraft and helicopters from the various branches will be available for inspection throughout the weekend.

“GGAS is a family friendly event; full of affordable activities for kids of all ages.” continued Lasher “A family of four can attend for only $40 if they purchase advance tickets at Kroger. No where else in the Atlanta area can you find world-class family entertainment for this price.”. Two day passes are also available for bargain hunters and airshow aficionados.

Air shows nation wide have experienced a resurgence in attendance this year.

“Attendance at air shows across the country [is] expected to hit almost 14 million, up 20 percent from last year,” said CBS Evening News reporter Bill Whitaker.

CBS Evening News reported that the current state of the economy has prompted families to “stay closer to home and look for cost effective entertainment alternatives for the family.”  Air shows seem to be the answer to this dilemma for many Americans. (CBS Evening News, Aug. 23, 2009)

Making their debut at GGAS will be the six-ship Red Thunder Air Show Team performing head-spinning aerobatics in Russian and Chinese-made trainers. Dare devil teams returning to GGAS are Red Eagle Air Sports, Kent Gordon and Greg Koontz. Neal Darnell’s always popular Flash-Fire Jet truck will blaze down the runway at 300 miles per hour!

In GGAS tradition, the CAF Dixie Wing will display its growing collection of classic WWII and Korean War-era aircraft. Based in Peachtree City, the group is the Georgia chapter of the Commemorative Air Force, a national non-profit dedicated to restoring and flying vintage American military aircraft as a tribute to America’s veterans.

Arts and crafts vendors will be on hand, while kids activities include The Lego Experience and Kidsport playground.

Local community non-profit organizations, such as the Kiwanis Club of Peachtree City, as well as school and scouting groups generate proceeds by supporting the Airshow. Kiwanis is a global service organization of volunteers dedicated to changing the world, one child and one community at a time.

Tickets can be purchased in advance at selected Kroger stores. Advance tickets are Adults $15, Children, ages 6-12, $5. Kids ages 5 and under get in free. After Oct. 9, tickets are available at the gate: Adults $18, Children, ages 6-12, $7. Two day passes are available this year at the gate: Adults $30, Children $10.

Gates open at 9 a.m. both days with a pre-show starting at noon and aerial performances from 1-5 p.m.. To better ensure security and safety, absolutely no coolers, backpacks, or pets. For more information visit or contact the air show office at 770-632-0365.

The Great Georgia Airshow (GGAS) is produced by The Great Georgia Airshow, Inc. a 501(C)3 nonprofit corporation governed by a Board of Directors that include representatives from the Commemorative Air Force, Dixie Wing ,, the Kiwanis Club of Peachtree City, and members from the community. Local non-profit groups, scouting, and school groups generate funds for their organizations by purchasing food items from the Air Show and then retailing those items in food booths to our patrons. GGAS, endeavors to maximize the benefits of the Air Show to the local community. GGAS is a grassroots event using upwards of 400 volunteers during the two-day show.

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