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Estimated 15,000 attend Paulding’s Salute America Air Show
by Adam Elrod
aelrod@neighbornewspapers.com
October 09, 2013 01:00 PM | 1768 views | 0 0 comments | 37 37 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Bill Braack, pilot of the Smoke-N-Thunder Jet Car, waits to perform at the Salute America 2013 Air Show.
Bill Braack, pilot of the Smoke-N-Thunder Jet Car, waits to perform at the Salute America 2013 Air Show.
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A performer leaves a circle of smoke during the Salute America 2013 Air Show Saturday.
A performer leaves a circle of smoke during the Salute America 2013 Air Show Saturday.
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Team Aerostar performs aerobatics at the Salute America 2013 Air Show.
Team Aerostar performs aerobatics at the Salute America 2013 Air Show.
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Capt. Patrick Pollen with the Royal Canadian Air Force holds an American flag after landing during practice at the Salute America 2013 Air Show.
Capt. Patrick Pollen with the Royal Canadian Air Force holds an American flag after landing during practice at the Salute America 2013 Air Show.
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An estimated 15,000 people visited the Salute America 2013 Air Show over its two-day period last weekend, said air show director Brent Sparks.

The show Saturday and Sunday featured 13 performers and a variety of static exhibits at the newly renamed Silver Comet Field at Paulding Northwest Atlanta Airport.

This year’s show marked the first time a full combat-capable, active military fighter aircraft had ever been at the airport.

The Royal Canadian Air Force sent two CF-18 Hornets to perform in the show. Sparks said the Canadian Air Force rarely sends two planes, but they wanted to send a backup for the show, Sparks said.

“They made sure we got the brilliant show we got,” he said.

Having the two airplanes meant the airport had to be guarded 24 hours a day and the Paulding County Sheriff’s Office did a great job watching over them, Sparks said.

Canadian Air Force Capt. Patrick Pollen pilots the Hornet. He said he and his crew perform in 26 shows a year in North America, including six in the U.S. The volunteer staff for the event were like professionals, Pollen said.

“It is an absolute pleasure,” Pollen said.

He said he hopes to inspire attendees to be pilots when they see his show.

“It is never too late to reach and inspire,” Pollen said.

His primary goal is to “represent the professionalism of military,” he said.

David and Sandie Taylor of Dallas were at the show to see their daughter perform with the South Paulding High School band. Mrs. Taylor said her grandfather was shot down in World War II so she enjoyed seeing all the older planes at the event.

Lewis Harrell is the general manager for RotorWorks in Hiram. The company had its ND600 helicopter on display at the air show.

“We are really loving the air show,” Harrell said.

He said it is a great way to promote the county, which is where RotorWorks’ employees live.

All the proceeds from the weekend were to go to charity. A committee will select recipients within about two months, Sparks said.

“It [the air show] was a resounding success,” he said.

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