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Northeastern Canopy Pilot League Holds 3rd Meet at Skydive Cross Keys

SFC Jow Abeln Swoops his way to Victory

SFC Joe Abeln Swoops his way to Victory

SFC Joe Abeln and SFC Jared Zell of the US Army Golden Knights Canopy Piloting Team were in action Saturday at the third meet of the Northeastern Canopy Pilot Leage (NECPL). The competition took place at Skydive Cross Keys in Williamstown, NJ just east of Philadelphia. The drop zone had a busy line up hosting a Swoop Competition, a Sisters in Skydiving event, a Parachutists over Phorty (POPS) record attempt and over 100 Tandems scheduled. The weather was perfect with clear blue skies and light winds. The 16 Competitors were off to an early start with a 0700 competitor briefing. Once the loads were sorted the Canopy Pilots took to the sky.

The day started with the Speed event and SFC Abeln put down the fastest time of the day with 2.891 sec. Sven Jseppi of the Canadian National time was just behind him with a run of 2.901 seconds. SFC Abeln took 2nd in the Speed event while teammate SFC Zell took 5th. The competition switched to Distance. The thick air kept the distance runs shorter than expected. Again Abeln and Zell were looking at Jseppi just ahead of them. The Competition finished up with the Zone Accuracy event. Abeln was 27 points off the lead with two rounds to go. This challenging event tests the competitors overall ability to control speed and distance. SFC Abeln and SFC Zell both finished the meet with the best Zone Accuracy scores of the day both standing up in Zone 6.   Abeln finished 1st place in Zone Accuracy but was only able to make up 24 of the 27 points needed to take the lead and finished 2nd place overall while Zell finished in 5th place. There is one meet left of the NECPL series. The last Competition will be on September 13th at Skydive Cross Keys. SFC Abeln looks to hold on to his overall standing of 1st place over the first 3 meets. For a look at the scores of all the meets check out http://necpl.controltower.io

 

 

Hidden Guardian’s of the Knights’

GaurdiansLike the tales of days of ole the secret hero’s identities were rarely known. The US Army Parachute has a hidden team of skilled tradesmen that protect the lives of passengers they escort throughout the land.

We have an elite team of proficient expert contract maintainers from Kay and Associates, who work continually to maintain and assure the teams, make the mission safely and without delay.

It is not rare to see two aircraft docked in the team hangar at Pope Army Airfield on any given day. This week alone, they masterfully have already completed a 125 hour inspection on the teams Freedom, 80263 Twin Otter making several component changes.

Aircraft Mechanic, George Navy a trained Army Soldier and now contractor for “Team Six” checked the thirteen fuel nozzles, inspected filters, combustion in the Pratt & Whitney engine in lieu of the old planes carburetors.

I asked where they learned about maintaining all of the team’s fleet of aircraft and Jason Drozd, another of our skilled aircraft mechanics showed me the license he received from the FAA from the Airframe and Power Plant (AMP) School which he attended for two years. He also explained various part of the engine to include the operation of a hi- capacity capacitor and how it received a voltage charge.

George invited us back to observe the Hot Section Inspection, which will be done in about forty more hours of flight for our Fokker 607. They routinely conduct that inspection on our C-31’s every 3,000 hours of flight, which makes me feel really comfortable.

This Team of experts has competently worked on our two C-31 Friendship Fokker’s since they arrived at the team in 1985. These aircraft have a life span limited to 90,000 landings, but both of our aircraft have in excess of 14,500 hours of total use thus far and over 15,000 landings.

Being I personally fly in the team aircraft along with demonstrators, competitors, Tandem Team and Centers of Influence it is so assuring to know just how safe we are due to the outstanding service and maintenance of these Our Kay and Associates Hero’s!

Freedom One of four of the  USAPT Twin Otters

Freedom One of four of the USAPT Twin Otters

13 Fuel Nozzles to be changed

13 Fuel Nozzles to be changed

George Navy pulling down cowlings to work on aircraft

George Navy pulling down cowlings to work on aircraft

Aircraft Mechanic Jason Drozd by Freedom

Aircraft Mechanic Jason Drozd by Freedom

Fuel Nozzles on Twin Otter Freedom

George Navy Checking Hartaell Prop During 125 Hour Inspection

Gear Check on C-31 Friendship Fokker

Gear Check on C-31 Friendship Fokker

 

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Thunder Over Utah

ThunderUtah Goldweb

The Gold Demonstration Team has had a busy weekend in the beautiful state of Utah. The team traveled to Saint George for the Thunder Over Utah Air Show. The unpredictable weather made it a little tricky for the jumpers and pilots participating in the show. Sadly, the team was unable to perform on Friday due to extremely high winds. This made the crowd even more eager for Saturday. Saturday morning started off beautifully with hardly any wind. The narrator made the first jump of the day, flying in the American Flag to the National Anthem. The crowd was very excited and the enthusiasm carried throughout the entire show.

Gold Team performed a full show, ending the performance with a mass, as the remaining jumpers built a formation in the sky. By the time the last jumpers exited the aircraft, the winds were howling. This made the jump a little tricky, but with the encouragement of the audience, all the jumpers made it safely to the ground in beautiful Golden Knight fashion. After the show was over, the team acquired some amazing kids to help pack up their parachutes for the next days jump.

Sunday also proved to be an outstanding day for jumping. Specialist Daniel Osorio got the show started for the afternoon by flying in the American Flag. He then made his way to Rob Reider, Airshow host extraordinaire, where he narrated his entire team performing a Mass maneuver. This was not just any mass, however, once the initial formation was built in the sky, the team went on to perform the Golden Knight Bomb Burst, a planned Cut-Away, and also linked up two parachutes in the sky for Canopy Relative Work. It was an exciting jump, as there was so much going on. The team performed flawlessly and the crowd once again gave each of the jumpers a warm reception upon landing.

The Knights also had the privilege of jumping two tandem passengers at the Airshow. SFC Joe Abeln and SSG Jon Lopez from the Tandem Team accompanied Gold Team as they jumped from 11, 500 feet to give these great passengers a ride of a lifetime.

Thunder Over Utah is a fun show with a great gathering of spectators and outstanding line up of performers. The team is looking forward to coming back to this beautiful state. Until then, Blue Skies!
SSG Gallagher, photos by SSG Trey Martin.

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