The Black Demonstration Team dropped in on the city of Greenbay, Wisconnsin this weekend. Famed NFL football team, the Greenbay Packers, invited the Golden Knights to help kick off thier “Fan Appreciation Day” with a parachute demonstration into the legendary Lambeau Field.
To the tune of over 70,000 roaring Packers fans, the Golden Knights lept from our C-31 Friendship Aircraft mearly 2,500 ft above the stadium! The Team Leader of the Black Demonstration Team, SFC Tom Dunning said, “Stadium jumps are my favorite because they always get my heart racing!” This, coming from one of the most seasoned Knights on the Parachute Team! But, with a toss of the wind drift indicators, some practice runs over the stadium, and a lot of experience and teammates to back him up, SFC Dunning led Black Team out of the aircraft, onto Lambeau Field, and into the pages of the Packers history books! This was the first time anyone had ever parachuted into Lambeau Field!
With each jumper performing signature Golden Knight landings, the team moved to the sidelines to greet enthusiastic fans. The team signed autographs, hats, and snapped photos with the fans. Afterwards, Black Team moved into the upper box levels of the stadium. The jump was covered by the local Fox news affiliate and is here for your viewing pleasure:
Last weekend, the Black Demonstration Team traveled all the way to Anchorage, Alaska for the 2012 Arctic Thunder Airshow. On rare occassions the Golden Knights travel via commercial aircraft. That was the case for this weekend’s demonstration, giving the demonstrators a different perspective about traveling. First, we had to limit the amount of equipment we took with us, due to weight and baggage limitations on commercial airlines. Each jumper was assigned a specific portion of equipment inventory, as their personal resonsibility during transit. This turned out to be a logistical nightmare! The team whole heartidly agrees that we have a irreplacable asset, in haveing our own aircraft and this weekend made us really miss our aviator brothers in the Golden Knights’ Team 6!
After arriving and getting 100% equipment accountability, Black team had the distinct opportunity to visit some unforrtunate kids at the Childrens Hospital at Providence. We brought videos, stickers, pins, brochures and a full set of a jumpers equipment for the kids to look at and try on. Since most of the children we visited that day had to remain in thier beds, Black Team broke into several small teams to go to each child’s room. These kids eyes lit up as they saw Golden Knights enter thier room for individual visits! Each child thanked their jumpers for coming to see them. This is one of the many benefits of being on the Army Parachute Team!
Arctic Thunder 2012 is an airshow that Joint Base Elmendorff-Richardson puts on for the public every two years and boasts some of the most breathtaking scenery Black Team has seen all year! Snow-capped mountains, beautiful deep blue rivers and green valleys made performing three parachute demonstrations easily worth the long trip to Alaska! The weather couldn’t have been better! We showed up immediately after two weeks of rain and clouds for perfect blue skies. Additionally, immediately following the last show day, Monday was pouring rain, once again. Black Team completed all three parachute demonstrations, including one mass formation and two full shows. Many of the spectators came to the Army recruiting booth to help repack our parachutes and to thank the Golden Knights for such a wonderful show. We, in turn, thanked each of them for their continued support of the Golden Knights and the support they’ve bestowed to all of our deployed men and women currently serving in harm’s way.
How do you get to fly through the St Louis Arch? Easy, be a Golden Knight at the 2012 Fair St Louis! That is exactly what Black Team was able to do for the 4th of July celebration, held at the world renowned, St Louis Arch. To a crowd of over 75,000 people, Black Team performed two seperate parachute demonstrations using the St. Louis Arch as our backdrop.
The team stepped out over top of the Arch at our full jump altitude of 12,500 ft and put together two mass formations. On each jump, after breaking the formation, each jumper was excited to be able to fly his landing pattern around, and then through the Arch for his final approach.
Amazingly, each jumper manuevered his parachute through the arch and perfomed signature target accuracy that the Golden Knights are known for. At the top of our stack on each performance, Black Team put together canopy formations. In the morning the team flew a side-by-side with a downplane through the Arch, and then a three-stack canopy formation in the afternoon.
What an amazing opportunity this airshow gave the Golden Knights! We were extremely proud to be able to celebrate our counties independance by flying through the “Gateway to the West” with the great people of St Louis and we look forward to coming back again!