An organizer and the event’s air boss, the military and professional pilot commented about the tremendous response that county and state leadership, airshow performers, staff, volunteers and members of the committee showed the Paulding airport authority’s inaugural air show.
And not to mention the approximately 5,500-plus spectators at the event.
“Our spectators were able to see — safely — what was going on,” Tidmore said. “People really loved that.”
Acts ranged from Gary Rower’s Super Stearman stunt plane and the Sky Solders’ military helicopter rescue demonstration to the Indy Boys’ Extreme Jet Vehicles, including a jet engine-rigged school bus which clocked 310 mph down the airport’s runway.
Months in the planning phase, Tidmore said safety at the Salute America 2012 show was the primary concern.
“We were absolutely postured. We were ready,” he said.
He was happy to report “not even a scraped knee” during the event.
It took some 170 volunteers and roughly 40 airshow staff to bring the event to execution, Tidmore said. That doesn’t include all of the law enforcement and fire department personnel who participated in the event.
“It takes a lot of manpower and commitment,” Tidmore said. “Every one believed in what we were doing.”
He added, “Our goal was to put on a safe community event. Our goal was never to make a profit, but to make an investment in our airport and gain community support of our airport.”
Any proceeds from the event have been earmarked for a fund for victims of the tornadoes which ravaged the airport area earlier this year.
The highlight of the show, which Tidmore said brought a lump to his throat, was the salute flight formation.
The formation brought together three military aircraft that had never been put together for an airshow, Tidmore said.
The trio consisted of a T-6C Texan II, an F-4U Corsair and a P-51 Mustang, flown in formation to celebrate military aviation.
“This was our gift to do something uniquely special for our air show,” said the pilot, “showing the history of military aviation.”
The formation’s first pass was dedicated to Paulding County Airport Authority Chairman Calvin Thompson, who is struggling with health issues, Tidmore said.