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!
Every demonstration requires a great deal of planning, attention to detail, and the ability to adapt to any new situation. As the Black Demonstration Team moves out, once again, to perform demonstrations across the country, we rely extensively on the standard operating procedures, techniques, and traditions of the Golden Knights to ensure every show is executed with the utmost of professionalism. This week, Black Team is moving out on what we call a “long show.” We will be traveling to three different locations over an eleven day roadtrip, including Portsmouth, NH, St. Louis, MO, and Rock Island, IL. We will perform nearly ten seperate demonstrations and interact with over 100,000 Americans eager to hear the Army story.
To start off our road trip, Black team was honored to be invited back to Portsmouth, NH for the 2012 Boston-Portsmouth Airshow! As always, the Golden Knights were welcomed warmly by the Portsmouth area locals. With a full weekend of demonstrations ahead of us, we were pleased to have the opportunity to meet with the local Boy Scouts of America. The scouts were at the airshow doing what scouts do best, volunteering. Everywhere you looked around at the airshow, there was a Boy Scout picking up trash, handing out water, or driving the elderly patrons around on golfcarts. Black Team jumped at the chance to visit the scouts in thier camp. The team showed videos, answered questions, signed autographs, and took pictures with the scouts.
As for the airshow, Black Team performed five parachute demonstrations, including 3 Mass performances and 2 Full shows. The weather allowed each performance to be accomplished at our full jumping altitude of 12,500 ft! The crowd was amazed at the precision and discipline, exhibited by the Team, and were also pleased with the Canopy Relative Work (CRW) we put together. The Golden Knights look forward to visiting the Portsmouth area again next year!