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Ground will be crowded, the air will be thrilling

Fort Valley Army Reserve unit packs parachutes

The 421st Quartermaster unit in Fort Valley, which specializes in aerial supply drops, will parachute at the upcoming air show at Robins Air Force Base.
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The 421st Quartermaster unit in Fort Valley, which specializes in aerial supply drops, will parachute at the upcoming air show at Robins Air Force Base.

This weekend’s air show could pump more than $20 million into the local economy.

About 200,000 people are expected at the Robins Air Force Base event. That was about the size of the crowd when the base last held an air show in 2012. And the weather forecast is looking favorable for this weekend.

Marsha Buzzell, director of the Warner Robins Convention and Visitors Bureau, said the show is projected to have a $24 million economic impact. That comes from a calculator that the state uses to project economic impact based on the expected crowd.

Buzzell said that’s more than she would have guessed. She said it calculates everything from gas sales to dining.

“The economic impact is across the board,” she said. “It impacts so many different industries.”

The show will be held from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day. No schedule of the performances is being released, said Maj. Jim Jackson, the air show director.

“It’s going to be an excellent show,” he said. “This is something people don’t want to miss.”

For those without base identification, parking will be at Anchor Glass and the Middle Georgia Regional Airport. Buses will shuttle people to and from the show.

The base had previously announced it was increasing the number of buses to 140 to provide for a smoother flow. However, Jackson said it will be 110, which was about the same as the last show and should be enough to provide a good flow. The buses will come from a variety of sources in the area, including school systems.

The star attraction is the Air Force Thunderbirds flight demonstration team. There are a total of 19 aerial performers and 32 static aircraft.

Among other notable performers is a B-25 bomber flown by the Disabled American Veterans and the Coast Guard’s Dolphin rescue helicopter will perform a rescue demonstration.

The Commemorative Air Force Dixie Wing of Peachtree City will fly historic World War II planes and is bringing three to the show. Those are a P-51 Mustang, a Japanese Kate and an F-4U Corsair.

For a full list of performers as well as other information about the air show, go to www.robins.af.mil/Airshow.

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