Wings Over North Georgia Air Show 

Wings Over North Georgia Air Show a Homecoming Event for Some U.S. Navy Blue Angels Pilots, Crew


Rome will serve as the homecoming site for several of the U.S. Navy Blue Angels pilots and crewmembers. The Wings Over North Georgia Air Show will take place on Oct. 21-22 at the Russell Regional Airport.


No. 5 Solo Aircraft and No. 6 Opposing Solo Aircraft for the U.S. Navy Blue Angels fly in close formation. GA Natives Solo Pilot Frank Weisser and Opposing Solo Pilot Tyler Davies will participate in the 2017 airshow in Rome, Ga.


The solo pilots for th U.S. Navy Blue Angels take-off to perform earlier this year for their flight demonstration in Brunswick, Ga. The Wings Over North Georgia Air Show in Rome, Ga. will host the Blue Angels Demonstration Team on Oct. 21-22, 2017.

The event offers Atlanta and Chattanooga area residents a final chance to see the world-famous gold-and-blue jets perform one last time before they close out a rigorous show season. The military flight demonstration team appeared at more than 35 different cities across the United States during its 2017 schedule. With only four events remaining in the season, record-breaking crowds are anticipated for the two-day airshow in Rome.

For a select group of Blue Angels pilots and crewmembers, the Rome airshow will be in familiar surroundings, allowing them to perform for family and friends. Sandy Springs High School graduate and Atlanta native Cmdr. Frank Weisser will perform in the No. 5 Lead Solo position for the team while North Cobb High School graduate and Kennesaw native Lt. Tyler Davies flies the No. 6 Opposing Solo aircraft. Both are looking forward to performing close to their hometowns in northwest Georgia. 

The Blue Angels team includes other Georgia natives.  Maj. Mark Montgomery from Cartersville is the pilot for the Blue Angels’ C-130 transport aircraft, affectionately known as “Fat Albert.” Airframes crewmembers Aviation Structural Mechanic 2nd Class (AM2) Demaude Prescott and Aviation Structural Mechanic 1st Class (AM1) Daniel Yater hail from Atlanta and Dacula, respectively; crew chiefs Aviation Ordnanceman 2nd Class (AO2) Aldriick Kittles and Aviation Structural Mechanic 2nd Class (AM2) Michael McDuffie call Waynesboro and Blackshear their hometowns; and Aviation Machinists Mate 1st Class (AD1) Shane Miller of the Power Plants crew will be near his hometown of Woodbine. 

The Blue Angels will demonstrate the power and maneuverability of its F-18 fighter aircraft flying in tight formations and close passes, but a favorite part for many of the team members is visiting local area schools.  Pilots and crewmembers conduct appearances at area schools to talk with students about careers in aviation and pursuing their dreams. A number of the Blue Angels team members will participate in school visits during the days prior to the airshow. 

In addition to the Blue Angels performance, the C-17 Globemaster III Demo Team will demonstrate the awesome power of the giant cargo aircraft known as “Fat Albert.” Weighing in at more than 300,000 pounds, the 174-foot long plane with a 169.8-foot wingspan will amaze spectators as the giant aircraft uses a departure climb angle of 35 degrees to reach an altitude of 1,500 feet before reaching the end of the runway.

Also at the WONG airshow, seven-time world aerobatic champion, Rob Holland, and Sharpsburg, Ga., resident, Buck Roetman, will perform rarely seen maneuvers in their solo aircraft performances. And for vintage warbird fans, the lineup also includes demonstrations by Scott Yoak’s P-51 Mustang and Jim Tobul’s F4U Corsair. Following their solo flights, the two aircraft will return together in their “Class of ‘45” airshow demonstration. For a full list of performers and airshow activities, visit 

Advance ticket purchases are recommended, as reserved seating is selling out fast. Tickets for the Wings Over North Georgia Air Show can be purchased online at There are options for on-site reserved airport parking, family four-packs of tickets, box seating, patio seating, and a limited number of chalet tickets. 

For the latest airshow updates, follow the show on Facebook at


Tampa Fly-In Right Around the Corner 

This event is right around the corner…
Just 2 weeks away. We can’t wait to see you!

The Tampa Fly-In starts on Friday, Oct. 27, with intensive workshops (registration required) about water survival techniques; instrument proficiency; aircraft maintenance; combining learning, inspiration, and adventure with aviation. A Barnstormers Party presented by Jeppesen will follow the all-day workshops on Friday evening, and the main event Saturday will start early with a pancake breakfast. AOPA President Mark Baker will host a Pilot Town HallSaturday afternoon.

Look for Melissa Finger, Expo Director, to find out what’s new for 2018 Expo. Call 863-314-1313 or email if you want to schedule a meeting in advance.


Schweiss Keeps Shomotion Moving 

Schweiss Doors keeps Shomotion moving with unique custom-made hydraulic container door

Shomotion LLC of Denver specializes in the transportation, repositioning, customization, and lease of equipment and drivers to assist in the execution of mobile marketing campaigns and other promotional events. When Shomotion founder Mike Scherkenbach needed a custom-made hydraulic door for a mobile container unit – in eight days – he called Schweiss Doors.

Shomotion promotional events have run the gamut, from providing stadium event services for top musicians like Paul McCartney, Kenny Chesney, and AC/DC to the promotional arms of NASCAR, Tylenol, Home Depot, Burger King, Chevrolet, ESPN/Discover Card Gameday, and the U.S. Army. Shomotion is responsible for keeping the show moving anywhere within the continental U.S., Mexico, and Canada.

Scherkenbach contacted Schweiss Doors for a custom-made rush job, ordering a 38-foot by seven-foot, 11-inch hydraulic door for a mobile container unit Shomotion was custom building for an overseas aircraft operation. Research led Shomotion to Schweiss Doors.

“When we got the call, we gave them top priority and went right to work on it,” said Mike Schweiss, president at Schweiss Doors. “We like challenges and always strive to give the best service. Our reputation over the years speaks for itself.”

Jason Rush, Shomotion’s Director of Intermodal Logistics, said Schweiss Doors came through as scheduled. Shomotion had a truck at the Schweiss factory eight days after the order was placed.

This custom container was to transport a 12-foot-wide airplane fuselage on a multi-city roadshow to familiarize airline executives with Mitsubishi’s newest regional jet. Due to the standard 102-inch width restrictions of traditional trailers and containers, Shomotion commissioned the construction of a 144-inch-wide by 40-foot-long display container with hydraulic actuated doors to showcase the product. Mitsubishi was adamant the side view be unobstructed, offering a clear view of the entire fuselage, which is more than 36 feet long.
Mitsubishi airline executives traveled from Japan to Shomotion’s headquarters to discuss the unique project. Shomotion and its partner companies and vendors came up with an extraordinary design to showcase a mock aircraft fuselage that would be securely housed inside a mobile container. Shomotion had eight weeks from design to completion to construct a road-ready container. Six weeks was devoted to fabricating a container featuring a hydraulic door that would open wide on one side, allowing for viewing and loading of the fuselage.

Mitsubishi was excited about showing off this new fuselage. It would be the prototype introduction for the world’s next great passenger jet – the Mitsubishi Regional Jet (MRJ). MRJ is a twin-engine regional jet aircraft seating 70-90 passengers. The container with the mockup of the fuselage was driven on a 10-week tour to airshows and to show important regional jet clients in the rebuilt jet market throughout North America with a stop in Canada.

“The mockup had never been transported in a container and put on the road all assembled,” said Rush. “We custom-built a 12-foot-wide by 40-foot container with a side-mounted hydraulic door on it. From the back of the trailer, there is a platform set up where you could walk into a receiving area and then inside the fuselage’s first class and coach seating, complete with overhead bins and some kitchen and serving areas as well.”

In addition to building the large hydraulic door, Schweiss Doors also supplied components for the second smaller entry door. Rush says the crew that fabricated the container was able to install the door with easy-to-understand directions from Schweiss.

“It was meant to be a tradeshow display piece, not necessarily a transport, so we had to design a system to securely fasten and tie the fuselage to the container using special strapping and blocks to minimize any shock to it,” Rush said. “The rear receiving area and the fuselage itself were air conditioned.

“The hydraulic door worked flawlessly. It was perfect for loading the fuselage and exactly what the customer required. It is really a high-quality door. There were a few challenges; we had to make sure we had enough clearance when the door opened and closed to clear the fuselage and that the support pieces were sufficient. The hydraulic pump was mounted on the floor inside the front of the container. The client was really happy with it.”

Scherkenbach said. “Schweiss exceeded Shomotion’s expectations with an expertly crafted door, accompanied by a sophisticated hydraulic power pack and pump. From Dallas to Montreal, the Schweiss product operated flawlessly. Schweiss Doors will certainly be Shomotion’s first choice for custom doors moving forward.”

Schweiss Doors is the premier manufacturer of hydraulic and bifold liftstrap doors. Doors are custom made to any size for any type of new or existing building for architects and builders determined to do amazing things with their buildings, including the doors. Schweiss also offers a cable to liftstrap conversion package. For more information, visit



More on Air Traffic Control Privatization 

Eight California Aviation Organizations Speak Out Against Air Traffic Control Privatization

This month, eight leading California aviation groups joined with many others nationwide to oppose H.R. 2997, a Bill that would privatize our air traffic control system, putting it in the hands of a private board dominated by commercial airline and private interests.

The Association of California Airports, Aviation Group Limited (including California Flyer, Cessna Flyer Association, Piper Flyer Association), California Pilots Association, Long Beach Airport Association, Los Angeles Area Helicopter Operators Association, Northern California Business Aviation Association, Professional Helicopter Pilots Association, San Carlos Airport Association, Southern California Aviation Association, and Van Nuys Airport Association represent a majority of the Golden State’s aviation community.

The letter states as follows:

“Recently, the three entities specifically created to provide Congress with non-partisan research and analysis have reviewed the air traffic control (ATC) ‘privatization’ proposal being pushed by the big airlines. The Congressional Research Service said H.R. 2997 was ‘likely unconstitutional.’ The Congressional Budget Office said the bill would raise the deficit by $100 billion. Finally, the Government Accountability Office said privatization would interfere with ATC programs that have delivered $2.7 billion in benefits to all users of the system and are on budget.

In addition, over 100 business leaders from 50 states, most of whom are pilots, have expressed their opposition to the ATC privatization proposal from the big airlines. These are successful business leaders who understand a profit and loss statement, as well as flight plans, and are responsible for a significant number of jobs and investment.”

The full text of the letter can be found at 



This Saturday at Planes of Fame 

Plane of Fame Air Museum
SAT. OCT. 7th, 2017
‘Douglas SBD Dauntless Dive Bomber’    
WWII SBD Dive Bomber Gunner Sid Zimman
‘Eleven’ Movie Director George Retelas
Historian and Author Santiago Flores

With: Kevin Thompson Moderator and Historian
The Douglas SBD Dauntless is scheduled to fly at 12 pm! 
Planes of Fame Air Museum,14998 Cal Aero Drive, Chino, CA 91710. Featuring: the Douglas SBD Dauntless. A speaker panel of Veterans, distinguished aviation experts and  historians are featured, followed by a question & answer period and flight demonstration. The Douglas SBD Dauntless will be on display and will perform a flight demonstration. At 12:00 noon, the Raffle Flight will occur. Become a member to enter the Raffle. All members are eligible to enter the Raffle, but you must be present to win. READ MORE… (Schedule subject to change)
Sid Zimman
Staff Sergeant Sidney H. Zimman, USMCwas assigned to the newly formed dive bomber squadron, VMSB-341. Sidney fought in the South Pacific, including the Air Battle over Rabaul. He was an SBD Dauntless dive bomber gunner who flew 40 combat missions. For his service, he was awarded the Air Crewman Wings with 3 stars, WWII Victory Medal, Asian Pacific Theater Medal with 2 stars, American Campaign Medal, Marine Good Conduct Medal, 2 Presidential Unit Citation ribbons, Air Medal with 5 stars, and the Distinguished Flying Cross.  READ MORE…
Director George Retelas traveled across the U.S. to hear stories of 11 surviving WWII Navy veterans who served with his late grandfather in Carrier Air Group 11. George Retelas will give us an update on the documentary “Eleven” and how he has discovered more Air Group Eleven veterans since its release in 2016. The entire film is told in the words of these heroic Navy flyers as they recount their Naval Aviation tours off Guadalcanal Island and the USS Hornet. READ MORE.
Santiago Flores has published over 220 articles on Mexican aviation and other aviation subjects in aviation magazines, internet and facebook in Mexico and overseas, and has given conferences on the subject in Mexico and in the United States. He served in the US Army and US Army Reserve completing three overseas tours to include Desert Storm 1991 and then later served twice in Afghanistan in support of Coalition forces after 9/11. READ MORE
After the presentation George Retelas will offer a screening of the entire film in the Movie Theater at 12:45 pm. (Run-time 77 minutes) Copies of the movie “Eleven” will also be available for purchase at the presentation. “This experience has been unforgettable, and my hope is to encourage more young people to document the stories of our veterans for future generations.” -George Retelas #ElevenTheMoviePlease see trailer:
Taste of Flight
Join us for the 11th Annual Taste of Flight Gala at Planes of Fame Air Museum on Saturday, November 18, 2017. It will be a night full of great food, pleasing libations, a fantastic Silent Auction, entertainment, and the presentation of the annual Planes of Fame Air Museum Achievement in Aviation Award, all for the benefit of the Museum’s Aviation Discovery Program. READ MORE.   BUY TICKETS
Planes of Fame ~ Chino Airport
Museum is Open to the Public, General Admission: $11, 11 yrs and Under $4, Ages 4 and Under : FREE! (excludes special events)
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FEATURED SALE ITEM!Wings Over California DVD ONLY $5.99!

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