As February draws to a close the Golden Knights 8-Way team has met with renewed vigor as they welcome new teammates SSG’s Dave Flynn and Sherri Jo Gallagher. The month has proved to be very intensive as the team members select new positions in the formation, conduct parachute maintenance, and begin work in the vertical wind tunnel.
All this work will help the team step off their winter training in Avon Park, FL on the right foot. As they work out the kinks training new personnel and ensure the gear is ready to go, the team is excited to begin training jumps on February 2nd.
Stay tuned for our next update from sunny Florida as the team sets their sights on the start of the 2015 competition season in hopes to bring home more gold for the US Army!
As the 2014 U.S. Skydiving National Championships come to a close, the Golden Knights will be returning to Fort Bragg, N.C. with a few more medals to add to their trophy case. The Golden Knights won Bronze in 4-way open and Gold in 4-way female, 8-way open, 10-way speed, 16-way, and 4-way VFS advanced. The total medal count for this year’s Championships was 58, with 52 being gold, and 6 being bronze. The 8-way team had a stellar performance in which they set a new 8-Way World Record by scoring the most points ever in a single competition with 237 points. This topped the previous record of 229 points which the Golden Knights also held. They also remain the reigning Overall Formation Skydiving Champions for the fourth year in a row. It was a bitter sweet victory though as the 8-way team says goodbye to SFC Mike LaRoche. SFC LaRoche finishes his competitive career on the Golden Knights as an 18-time National Champion, 2-time World Champion, and a World Cup Champion. He will be leaving the Golden Knight family after being accepted to the Army’s Physician Assistant Program. SFC LaRoche leaves us on a high note, he has gained the respect, admiration, and gratitude of the American public and his teammates.
It was a chilly Monday morning at the 2014 World Parachuting Championships in the Czech Republic. The 8-Way Formation Skydiving Team has completed their eighth and final practice jump out of the L-410 Turbolet aircraft. The L-410 is extremely different than the UV-18 Twin Otter aircraft that the Golden Knights primarily train from. The turbojet door is narrower and taller than the Golden Knights Twin Otter’s door. It’s also harder for us to maintain our grips on one another in the door and the exits don’t come off as clean as exits from the Otter. But after several practice jumps we feel confident enough moving forward. Tonight is the opening ceremonies and the draw. The official competition starts first thing Tuesday morning. The weather forecast is not looking very promising for the next couple of days. They are calling for a high chance of rain but all the teams are staying optimistic and hoping for favorable weather conditions.