ROME, GEORGIA — Wings Over North Georgia airshow officials are meeting with FAA and military jet teams early tomorrow morning to decide if weather conditions in Rome have improved enough to resume the airshow Sunday afternoon. Early forecasts look encouraging but results of the safety/weather briefing will be announced at 8:30 am, October 4th, after the Air Boss/FAA safety meeting.
Saturday’s visibility and cloud ceilings over Rome’s Russell Regional Airport never reached the airshow altitudes required by the Federal Aviation Administration. In the interest of public safety, WONG officials postponed the first day of airshow demonstrations.
“The safety of our fans, pilots, aircraft and vendors is paramount,” said John Cowman, JLC Airshow president. “At six-thirty in the morning there was thunder, lightning and forecasts of road flooding and despite our disappointment it was the only responsible call to make.”
Cowman explained that the Russell Regional Airport facility is not equipped for thousands of spectators to take shelter during thunderstorms and that the possibility of road flooding could make driving to and from the event hazardous. In addition, the Federal Aviation Administration requires a minimum range of visibility and a cloud ceiling of 1,500 feet for the WONG airshow pilots to fly.
“It’s not about comfort or convenience. The last thing any Air Boss wants is impaired visibility and clearance for the men and women flying our military jets and civilian planes,” said George Cline, Airshow Boss for WONG. “Not to mention the safety of the crowds along the flightline.”
Bad weather also forced the cancellation of the Charlie Daniels Band concert tonight, but fans who purchased special reserved concert tickets in addition to airshow admission can redeem those tickets at the next Smoke-n-Thunder concert already planned for 2016.
Saturday airshow ticket holders can use their tickets for the Sunday airshow instead, or save them to exchange for an equivalent ticket at the next WIngs Over North Georgia airshow.
Weather and parking updates will be posted on the Wings Over North Georgia Facebook page and website, and a final alert will be distributed to media Sunday morning by 8:30am.