Members of the Golden Knights Competition Team have arrived in Rio de Janiero, Brazil and are acclimating to the local climate, a beautiful 70 degrees. The flight to Brazil and the airport and customs process were all par for the course. What followed was the typical long, traffic-laden bus ride from the airport to a temporary way point. The CISM committee took us to what is called Village Blue, one of three separate places athletes are being housed for the World Games. We had just enough time to grab a snack and shuffle our baggage around a little before we were loaded onto yet another bus. This bus was bound for Resende and the Academia Militar das Agulhas Negras (The Military Academy of the Black Needles) or AMAN for short. This will be our home for the next 12 days. The only sport being housed in AMAN is Parachuting. After a three hour bus ride through the curvy roads of the state of Rio de Janiero, we arrived at AMAN. Another bag drag, this time to our rooms, and it was dinner time. During the course of the day, members of the Golden Knights had a chance to reconnect and reacquaint themselves with members of other teams from the many countries participating in the World Games. From Denmark to Ireland and even Hungary.
Day two brought cooler temperatures and fog, lots of it. We are told this is typical for the morning, until around 9 am. Next on the schedule was a tour of the drop zone, both drop zones. The two parachuting events, formation skydiving and classic accuracy, will take place at two different sites within Resende. The classic accuracy landing area is nearest to AMAN but the formation skydiving landing area is a little bit further up the road, approximately 15 minutes by bus. The formation skydiving drop zone is actually Skydive Resende.
Each team is eligible to make one practice jump from approximately 5000 feet. This practice jump serves to orient the teams with the landing area and terrain, as well as to familiarize those teams who have not had the opportunity to jump the CASA 295, the competition aircraft. The CASA 295 is considered a high speed aircraft with a tailgate. The exit speed will be 120 knots. The type of aircraft, exit speed and location of the jump door are very important aspects to consider for formation skydiving. The Golden Knights train out of a UV-18 Twin Otter. The Twin Otter has a left door and the average exit speed of 90 knots. Luckily, the Team had an opportunity to train out of similar high speed aircraft during the six months prior to CISM. The practice jump for the Golden Knights is scheduled first thing tomorrow, or the day just prior to the start of competition. And in case you were wondering, this party officially kicks off when the first load goes up on the morning of 16 July 2011. Until then, keep up to date on the news here on ArmyGK.com. The Internet connection is sketchy here but I will do my best to keep everyone informed. Blue Skies!