On Thursday, July 14th, 15 Golden Knights arrived in Indiana for the Gary Air Show. With three aircraft crew members and two ground safety personnel, the Gary Air Show was privileged to have 10 demonstration parachutists for each of the five scheduled performances. While this may seem like just another number to most, it actually opens up several possibilities for our traveling demonstration teams. Scheduled to be a Black Team show, our flexibility grew when 3 Gold Team Demonstrators, as well as another from our Headquarters element, opted to join the mission.
Gary, Indiana annually hosts its air show on the shores of Lake Michigan at Marquette Park Beach, just south of Chicago. There was great weather throughout the weekend and all five scheduled jumps were performed from our maximum altitude of about 2 ½ miles above the earth.
To kick off the weekend, the Golden Knights performed the famed night-pyro jump, consisting of a jumping narrator, an 8-way geometric formation and a photographer. Each and every jumper lit up the sky with pyrotechnics, leading up to the grand finale fireworks display.
Saturday and Sunday’s shows were both opened by 2 of our jumpers, hailing the Canadian Flag as well as our Nation’s Colors, to their respective National Anthems. The Golden Knights are always proud to fly the Colors, representing demonstration teams that may be joining us at an air show. This weekend, we were proud to represent our Canadian brothers-in-arms, who had aircraft flying in the show.
Each show opening was followed by another geometric mass formation from 12,500 feet with a Canopy Relative Work performance as well demonstrations with smaller, high performance canopies. Every spectator had the opportunity to view a vast array of freefall and parachuting performances within the single time block.
Just a mere 3 ½ hours after the show opened each day, the Golden Knights aided in closing out the show with the highly sought-after Full Show. Immediately prior to the newly founded Heavy Metal Jet Team our demonstrators showed the maneuverability of the human body, while in freefall at 120 miles per hour. Both Saturday and Sunday, batons were passed in freefall, canopies were forced to malfunction, and even the demanding Diamond Track was performed.
Golden Knights are just one example of how American Soldiers take pride in themselves, their families and this great Nation. Every performance is a chance to show just that. When demonstrators throughout the Team unite, the possibilities are endless. Black Team was honored to have the support of the Team members that had the opportunity to simply stay home with their families and friends this weekend. Today, our Soldiers are no different.
Without the support of the American public each and every day, our military would be crippled at its core. We are able to push through incredible odds, and keep our heads high in the process because we know Americans stands behind us. We, the Golden Knights, are proud to see the gratitude and support of our American people each and every day. Continue to thank Soldiers every time you see them in uniform, even if it may seem small and insignificant, it will always leave a lasting impression.