Wings Over North Georgia Airshow Preview

Reported by: Erik Avanier
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Updated: 10/11/2013 7:36 pm
(See also flight picture gallery under images)

ROME, Georgia(WDEF) - When airplane enthusiast attend the Wings Over North Georgia Air Show this weekend, they will have the opportunity to check out the Geico Skytypers.

The group of pilots are called of Skytypers because they type messages in the sky with smoke. But messages aren't their only expertise.

"We fly a diamond formation, opposing solo's, head to head passes and then we join up for a delta formation to finish the act with all six aircraft" said pilot Steve Kapur.

The group of pilots and their support staff may make their routine look very easy but that's due to hours of training both on the ground and in the air.  In fact, pre-flight for Skytypers actually start three hours before take-off.

"We start removing distractions and turning off cell phones at a certain point and during that time, we're briefing about the safety things on the airplane and the areas where flying over," Kapur said.

They also use pre-flight to review calls, maneuvers and the sequence of their routine.

"We've already flown the routine a couple of times in our minds before we actually go fly it in the air," Kapur said.

The Skytypers were generous enough to give WDEF an inside look at what their environment is like while performing for an audience on the ground.

Three of the T-6's took off at the same time then once all three planes leveled off, the pilots released white smoke. The ride was a little bumpy due to thermal air-pockets but it was a glimpse into what the pilots do to put on a good show.

About 10 minutes into the flight, all three planes were joined by two stunt planes from the Air National Guard Aerobatic Stunt Team. For a brief moment the stunt pilots joined the Skytypers in formation before giving WDEF an up close and personal mid-air look at what they can do.

One stunt plane turned upside down, did a few rolls and put on a show that looked like a scene from the movie Top Gun.

As for the Skytypers, they don't perform wild maneuvers but they do perform a six plane maneuver that takes a lot of skill and practice.

"We're happy when our wings are overlapping. Anywhere from four feet to an overlapping wing that gets us excited to get up in the morning," Kapur said.

Aside from the personal satisfaction of getting paid to do what they love, Skytyper pilots see what they do as an opportunity to become inspiring role models for young children who attend the air shows.

"This is the kind of thing that can inspire kids to work hard in math and science and get good grades to earn a spot to fly in the Air Force or the Navy," Kapur said.

The Wings Over North Georgia Air Show is scheduled for October 12-13 in Rome Georgia at the Richard B. Russell Regional Airport.

In addition to the air show, there will also be a Barbecue contest.


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