For the first time in five years, the skies above the Greater Binghamton Airport in New York were once again filled with black and gold canopies, night pyrotechnics, smoke and the roaring of the engines from Team Aerodynamics and several other air show acts. The black demonstration team kicked off the weekends 4th of July air show activities by performing a mass night pyrotechnics jump from an altitude of 12,500 feet. Anxious spectators awaited the teams performance while bundled up in their winter jackets, hats, gloves and 4th of July attire. Members of the black demonstration team circled high overhead as the temperatures began to drop below freezing. Team leader, SFC Kevin Presgraves maneuvered our Army Strong C31 jump aircraft to a precise exit location for our first jumper and then gave the crossed arm signal of hot target as narrator PFC Jason Wenger awaited the thumbs up signal of “ Stand By”. The team made it’s 4th of July entrance by performing a mass formation above the airport and then streaked away from each other creating our bomb burst maneuver which looked like one big Golden Knight firework!
We were back at it the following morning as SGT Travis Downing jumped in our Nations Colors while being closely followed under canopy by our team photographer SSG Reese Pendleton . SSG Pendleton swiftly set his camera angles in order to capture SGT Downing flying the American Flag as he was circled by five of Team Aerodynamics pilots at an altitude of three thousand feet approximately1,000 feet away from him. SGT Downing narrated our second mass formation performance of the weekend as the rest of the team landed their canopies along the crowd line waving and giving high fives as they rolled up their canopies and began to walk back to our aircraft. Not only did we have the honor of opening the air show but we also closed out the weekends performances with another signature mass formation performance above a much warmer Binghamton airport than the night before. Once again every jumper landing along the crowd line allowing for hundreds of photo opportunities. SSG Shelby Bixler introduced her teammates as each of them proudly stepped forward to give a salute and closed out the show with “ In the future, may all of your days be prosperous and your Knights Golden”. Many thanks go out to premiere air show sponsor Mr. Jeff Gural (owner of Tioga Downs Casino) and thanked Dave Schultz Air Show for inviting the team back to be a part of the 4th of July celebration and air show. Black team prepares for their next performance with Dave Schultz Air Show in Reading, PA.
SSG Shelby Bixler, Photos by SSG Reese Pendleton