The graduates of the 2010 Golden Knights Assesment and Selection program have begun their formal training as official members of the Team. Six of the newly Knighted Soldiers have been assigned to the Gold Demonstration Team. Gold Team’s newest members are currently perfecting the art of aerial demonstrating with the expert assistance of the Gold Demonstration Team’s “Old Guys”. The “Old Guys” (veteran Team Members) originally expected to have their work cut out for them. Having six new Team Members to integrate, as well as a new Assistant Team Leader appeared, at first, to be a daunting task. A casual observer was surprised to find out how many newly assigned team members there are. She remarked ” I watched both teams today, and I would have assumed they were all seasoned Golden Knights”. The “New Guys” take the compliment in stride knowing they have quite a ways to go before they are ready for the Airshow Season. However, their pride is evident in their smiles when they realize they are actually going toe to toe in accuracy with the seasoned demonstrators.
GKAS was designed to prepare candidates for Winter Training. Winter Training is preparing the candidates for the Airshow Season. New skills are being taught. Such as Canopy Relative Work, which is the act of flying two canopies together. The “New Guys” took to this like naturals, showing their advanced canopy knowledge. Having Airshow Announcer Rob Reider on the drop zone is helping to fine tune our narration. It’s amazing how much one day of coaching by a professional narrator has greatly improved the delivery of the narration. Wayne Boggs, a long time Airshow Boss, is on hand to assist in training as well. Teaching the new team members the in’s and outs of the behind the scenes action at a typical Airshow. High winds and low ceilings are just a typical day in Homestead, Florida. The New Guys drive on regardless of the conditions. Performing near perfect target landings, low altitude baton passes, and almost show ready narration. The Old Guys are impressed. Members from the Tandem Team, Headquarters section and the Rigger Loft constantly compliment the level of skill already displayed by the new Gold Team Demonstrators. Gold Team leadership is looking forward to the completion of winter training and starting the 2011 Airshow Season.