Golden Knights Seriously Injured in Bicycle Accident


SFC Sanborn, Chicago Water and Air Show

7:00 a.m. Sunday, September 9, the Black Demonstration Team Leader SFC  Howard Sanborn and SGT Jonathan Lopez were hit by a car while bicycling along the shoulder of Highway 63 near La Plata, MO.

SGT Jonathan Lopez



The  two Knights’ were returning to their hotel from a twenty mile ride when a car driven by a 24-year-old Minister, Nathan Worstell crossed over onto the shoulder of the road and hit Sanborn ejecting him across the road. Sanborn’s bike was propelled into Lopez.

According to the Missouri State Highway Patrol, Sanborn and Lopez were both transported by Air Evacuation helicopters to University Hospital in Columbia, MO. around 8:00 a.m. Sunday morning.

Lopez was released from the hospital after treatment for numerous contusions, and lacerations requiring over 100 stitches to his face. Lopez returned home to Fort Bragg with his team and is expected to make a complete recovery.

Sanborn is still hospitalized and in serious condition following two operations and will require extensive treatment.


SFC Howard Sanborn

Sanborn, who is in extreme athlete, qualified in his age group for triathlon Nationals and has been mentoring Lopez to compete in an upcoming triathlon later this year.

 Howie always helps to encourage others to eat nutritionally well balanced meals and exercise. He is even a Yoga instructor that leads his team mates through invigorating workouts on a regular basis.

SFC Adrian Hill, said “Howie is one of my best friends, he’s everyone’s friend. He is just an awesome guy!” I came to this team because I admire the complete professionalism of this entire team.”

Saturday night the United States Army Parachute Team, Golden Knights Black Demonstration Team jumped at the Truman State University Football game in Kirksville, Mo. and presented the President of the University a baton flown in free fall by the team.

Sunday eight members of the team made a jump for the Kirksville 2012 Air Festival and then spent the rest of the day supporting their team mates.

Sanborn’s zeal and enthusiastic debonair character is infectious and continually is displayed as he builds his team spirit based on mutual respect.

The entire Golden Knight Family are pulling together to support Howie and are praying for a quick recovery.

Thank you for all for the calls and support from our extended family and we will keep you posted as he progresses.

Black Team Attends the Cleveland National Air Show

 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.

Winston-Salem Airshow 2012

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!

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