With a childhood love for airplanes & air shows, JLC Airshow Management is the vision of Chief Master Sergeant (retired) John Cowman who formed the company in June 2011. Prior to his retirement at Dobbins AFB, Chief Cowman served as the USAFR schoolhouse C-130H Loadmaster Superintendent. The Chief’s duties and responsibilities included management oversite of the enlisted C-130H aircrew flying & ground training programs. Throughout his successful military career, Chief Cowman maintained worldwide mission-ready combat status accumulating over 5,000 flying hours in the C-130 Hercules.
As the air show management organization grew, he invited a few of his fellow retired Air Force comrades to join the company’s management team. The JLC AirShow Management owners group includes: MAJ (retired) Ken Fields, Pilot, and COL (retired) Jim Hite, Navigator/CC who are both U.S. Air Force retired veterans. With the business now gaining traction, additional specialties were needed. JLC added business owner David Parker, Parker Systems/Parker FiberNet (Summerville, GA) to join the management team. Together they all represent numerous years of military & civilian flying, in addition to event management and production experience to the company. With this steady growth, Team JLC continues to make its mark in the North American air show industry.
With a natural promoter gift and numerous years of experience producing air shows and special events for the military, JLC’s inaugural 2012 “Wings Over North Georgia” air show featuring the Canadian Forces Snowbirds, USN F/A-18 Super Hornet Jet Demonstration Teams and with a performance by Country Artist Aaron Tippin proved to be a huge success!
The North American air show industry and International Council Air Shows (ICAS) met its share of government sequestration challenges in 2013. After the loss of the USAF Thunderbirds due to the DOD Sequestration directives; JLC remained committed to its aviation roots in 2013 by concentrating on the vast civilian & war-bird aviation assets available. They featured the Black Diamond Jet Team, GEICO Skytypers and Aerostars along with the Canadian Forces CF-18 Hornet Demo Team. Together they delivered a knockout family-friendly patriotic air show event without any US military support. With some DOD sequestration relief, JLC bounced back in 2014 by hosting the USAF Thunderbirds with record crowds exceeding 80,000.
The 2015 air show weekend continues a trend of positive growth by hosting the USAF F-22 Raptor & AF Heritage Flight Team, USN F/A-18 Hornets USMC MV-22 Osprey plus County Music’s legend — The Charlie Daniels Band. This stellar line-up of world-class performers was cut short with an unpredicted Hurricane forcing Saturday’s full-show cancellation.
2016, 2017, 2018 proved to be banner years as both the USAF Thunderbirds (2016) and USN Blue Angels (2017/18) military jet demonstration squadrons accepted invitations to headline the Wings Over Golden Isles, Wings Over North Georgia and Wings Over Myrtle beach air shows.
The following results of JLC’s “Wings Over North Georgia” air shows demonstrates the strength of the economic impact to the Northwest Georgia region and are calculated and submitted by Georgia's Rome Tourism Office. Reports show 2012 ($2.6M), 2013 ($2.6M/Government Sequestration), 2014 ($5.4M), 2015 ($2.7M/Hurricane Shortened), 2016 ($4.4M), 2017 ($6.2M), 2018 ($3.6M) and 2020 ($2.7M/COVID year). These incredible numbers result in maintaining the Number 1 Economic Impact event conducted in the Rome-Floyd County region.
Whether you are a novice of aviation or a full-fledged enthusiast, JLC produced events have numerous entertainment outlets. From a variety of international food & beverages, kids zone, camping, aviation exhibits, military & vintage war birds and a general aviation fly-in aircraft, there is something for everyone. These events are fun filled for each family member and fans attending.
JLC continues exploring new opportunities within the air show industry. Additional company projects under development include new air show locations providing communities with the same world-class performers, competitors, static displays and exhibit model as in the aforementioned communities.
In addition to expanding its' airshow footprint on Oct. 1, 2019, JLC AirShow Management received official notice of accreditation from the Federal Aviation Authority (FAA) to organize and host the recently developed AirShow Racing Series™ (ARS). The ARS is the newest and one of the most exciting additions to the air show industry.
JLC proved their ability to pivot during tough times, producing a Drive-In Airshow in both 2020 and 2021 during the pandemic. In 2020, they were one of only five shows able to move forward during Covid. "It was certainly challenging, but ended up being super popular among families attending the shows," says John Cowman, JLC President. "They loved having the immediate access to their cars to deal with small children, etc. People were so starved for something to do and the drive-in concept could be done safely, still providing an event atmosphere," says Cowman.
Stand by for what's next from the JLC AirShow Management group; it's onward and upward!