The Black Demonstration Team led by SFC Kevin Presgraves traveled north this past weekend to Rockford, Illinois for the Rockford Airfest. The team arrived on Friday and attended the event sponsored social where we were welcomed back to the airshow circuit along with several other phenomenal civilian and military acts including the US Airforce Thunderbirds and the Canadian Snowbirds. The team opened the show Saturday morning with PFC Jason Wenger and SSG Shelby Bixler flying in the American and Canadian Flag for a dual anthem. Accompanying PFC Wenger and SSG Bixler during their canopy decent to show center were pilots Rob Holland and Bill Stein.
The team then performed a mass formation and landed along the crowd line of close to 65,000 air show enthusiasts. Our afternoon full show was modified due to cloud cover, but that did not stop Black Team from pushing forward and giving the American public a stellar performance of a baton pass, the crowd favorite down plane maneuver, as well as a diamond formation from an altitude of only 6500 feet! Although mother nature gave us some leeway for our Saturday performances we were not able to open the show on Sunday morning due to weather. Low visibility does not stop the Golden Knights from walking through crowds of close to 65,000 air show fans to share our Army story, sign autographs, take photos and even visit with the air show vendors and chalets. The weather lifted just enough for us during the afternoon to perform two passes of stackout maneuvers followed by a full team lineup.
Special thanks to Honorary Golden Knight John Duda for assisting the team this weekend and to all of our fellow military and civilian acts.