The 2012 Cleveland National Air Show hosted a wide variety of world class performances. Black Team was proud to participate over Labor Day weekend. The show is unique, in that it offers 3 entire days of air show performances. Black Team was slated for two performances each day, providing several unique opportunities.
To start off the weekend, Black Team demonstrated inter-service cohesion as we worked with the U.S. Navy Parachute Team, the “Leap Frogs.” Demonstrating how our American military forces work together to accomplish any Mission, we were proud to fly with them and build an 8 person formation over Cleveland. Additionally, we were afforded the privilege of working with the U.S. Navy Blue Angels, as we jumped from their C-130, nicknamed “Fat Albert.”
While Sunday started off with weather that didn’t allow us to complete the morning’s performance, the afternoon jump was especially important to the Golden Knight family. On August 15th of this year, we lost a former Team member, SSG Eric Holman, in the Ghazni Province, Afghanistan. We were able to dedicate Sunday afternoon’s performance to his memories, achievements and legacy and present his baton, which was flown in free fall, to his father and family.
The Cleveland National Air Show is an amazing venue that Black Team is proud to support each year. Hosting hundreds of thousands of spectators, it truly allows us to shine as our Army’s goodwill ambassadors. We were proud to fly the black and gold and share our Army story! We look forward to attending future shows.
Close to home shows always give the Golden Knights an opportunity to make a huge impact on the local community. This weekend, Black Team traveled the very short trip to Winston-Salem, NC. This year’s airshow expected to bring over 45,000 airshow fans from the surrounding area to the Smith-Reynolds Airport. We performed one media jump into the airfield on Friday, giving the jumpers a sneak peak at the landing area.
Saturday and Sunday, the Golden Knights performed two parachute demonstrations. For the first jump of the day, Black Team performed a mass formation followed by a show-line spread. This gives the audience an up close and personal look at the jumpers as well as parachutes in flight. Each jumper is assigned a section of the crowd line to land.
As the team separates from the free fall formation, they open their parachutes and remain on level with each other, under canopy. They stay in this position until they land. After the jumpers land, each Golden Knight makes his way towards show center, walking along the audience. They use this time, shaking hands, high fiving, and even stopping for the occasional photo. A show-line spread is definitely one of the Golden Knights favorite performances because we, unlike many other airshow acts, are interacting with the fans immediately following our performance!
The Chicago Air and Water Fest is, by far, the largest single audience that the Golden Knights perform for each year. This year, a record 2 million spectators crowded the beaches and city streets of Chicago, in hopes to get a glance of their favorite airshow performers. Black Team was honored to perform five parachute demonstrations this weekend for the city of Chicago.
One of the more unique things about this airshow is that we were able to provide four tandem parachute jumps to four lucky people during the performances. So, not only did they get the experience of a lifetime, but they also got to experience what it is like as a Golden Knight, performing parachute demonstrations in front of over two million fans! Pictured below is Derrick Young, a reporter/anchor for CBS 2 Chicago, just before his jump.
This weekend also gave Black team a chance to interact and perform with the United States Navy Parachute Team, The Leapfrogs. As both the Golden Knights and the Leapfrogs perform parachute demonstrations across the country, we sometimes find ourselves crossing paths at nearly a half dozen air shows per year. We enjoyed our time with, and would like to thank the Leapfrogs! Also, as expected, we thank City of Chicago for having us back time and time again. We are looking forward to the Chicago Air and Water Fest 2013!
To View the tandem of Mr Mark Day, check out our Youtube channel: