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Gary Rower to perform at Thunder Over Georgia

At a Glance:
◾Gates open at 9 a.m.
◾Opening ceremonies start at 10 a.m.
◾Admission and parking are free in designated areas.
◾Times and performances are subject to change.

WHAT TO KNOW: The #ThunderOverGeorgia2019 air show is going to be action packed this year! Make sure to bookmark www.robins.af.mil/airshow for all the latest – from performers to tips and parking. Mark your calendars now for Sept. 28 and 29, 2019. Find out more on the Robins Air Force Base website at: https://www.robins.af.mil, and you can follow the air show on Facebook at facebook.com/RobinsPublicAffairs. 

ROBINS AIR FORCE BASE, Ga. – If Gary Rower has anything to do with it, the Thunder Over Georgia air show is going to be a real barnstormer.

That’s because Rower’s aircraft of choice when performing is a 1942 PT-17 Stearman. And his performance is filled with gian barnstormer loops, hammerhead turns, slow rolls, a Cuban eight, inverted flight, snap roll and one of his favorite maneuvers, the Outside Humpty Bump.

Rower has been entertaining audiences since 2002, and his performance at Robins will offer the perfect opportunity for aircraft enthusiasts to catch him showcasing his piloting skills in an open cockpit biplane.


Rower began flying at 16 in upstate New York, and has since accumulated more than 18,000 flying hours worldwide.

According to Rower’s website at http://www.rowerairshows.com/Stearman/Stearman.html, while a cadet at the United States Air Force Academy, he became a soaring instructor and was captain of the U.S. Air Force Academy Soaring Team. Following graduation, Rower attended Air Force pilot training at Vance Air Force Base, Oklahoma, where he was a distinguished graduate.

His first assignment was in the F-16 Fighting Falcon. It was in the early days of the F-16 and Rower was the 136th Air Force pilot worldwide to achieve 1,000 flying hours in the aircraft. He became an instructor and flight evaluator, participated in several Red Flag exercises, and was awarded Top Gun.

In 1986 Rower left active duty and joined a major airline which he has now been flying with for 20 plus years. During the late 1980’s he continued flying the F-16 with the Air Force Reserve in Utah. He currently holds an Air Transport Pilot rating in the Boeing 767, 757, 737, DC-9 and Airbus 330, and flies to Europe and South America.


The Stearman was first used as a basic flight trainer for the U.S. Army Air Corps in 1942, and his is one of about 10,000 manufactured. According to Rower’s website, “More pilots have trained in the Stearman than in any other aircraft in history.”

Rower’s Stearman got a facelift in 1973 when the aircraft was completely reconstructed. At that time, the 220-horsepower seven-cylinder engine was replaced with a nine-cylinder 450 horsepower Pratt and Whitney Wasp Junior engine. It was also fitted with a fuel and oil system capable of sustained inverted flight, as well as a nine-foot propeller.

Editor’s note: all acts are subject to change.