Black Team travels to the west coast to share the Black and Gold with Stanford, California. Flying over Foster Field, the Team stepped out into the darkness from 3,000 feet to make their grand entrance. When SFC Brian Sealing took the microphone, Stanford didn’t even realize that they were going to witness a very unique Golden Knight performance.
Usually, when Golden Knights make a parachute demonstration, we use the aid of smoke or a cold-burning pyrotechnic to help the audience watch the events unfold. However, to ensure no damage was made to the grass in Stanford Stadium, we made a unique change to our performance. We stepped out into complete darkness without any pyrotechnics, simulating a live military insertion, used my our modern combat force.
Without the aid of our pyrotechnics, which make our jumpers visible for miles, we are virtually impossible to see. Specialized units within the Army, use High Altitude Low Opening, or HALO, which is military free fall for specialized insertions. These military jumps are the basis of what Golden Knight demonstrators represent during our shows. By exiting the aircraft without any visual aid, we were given the opportunity to show Stanford how difficult a parachute drop would be, to detect.
Until SFC Brian Sealing took the stadium’s microphone, the audience had no idea our jumpers were in the air. They would have had no idea we existed until we entered the stadium’s lights and made our tip toe landings on the field. While pyro serves a dramatic purpose during our jumps, using no pyro adds a sense of realism that cannot be matched. Our highly trained military often relies on the sense of surprise and silence that Black Team demonstrated this past Saturday.
Additionally, we had the privilege of showing how diverse weather conditions can still prove optimal, for a parachute insertion. In this YouTube video, you can see that not only, did Black Team step into the darkness over California, we stepped out into a steady rain fall as well. Saturday’s rain could not keep Black Team from accomplishing the mission. We safely and dramatically completed our jump and then handed off the game ball at center field to kick off the game. Go Stanford!