The Gold Demonstration Team took a trip up north to perform at the 2012 Manassas Airshow in Virginia. The skies were blue and the winds were light allowing for a spectacular show over the weekend. The initial jump by the Gold Team was made on Friday just a few hours after landing at the show site. The team had just enough time to receive a detailed in brief grab a bite to eat and then take to the skies once again. Friday was a warm up day for the airshow acts as well as media day where local reporters get to travel behind the scenes and take a closer look at the airshow demonstrators. Due to the shortened timeline and lower altitude celling on Friday the Gold Team needed to make some on the fly adjustments to the previously planned mass formation. Instead of the 12,500 feet the team planned for the airshow coordinator only allowed 7,500 for the first jump. The Team Leader SFC JD Berentis and Assistant Team Leader SFC Dustin Peregrin came up with a new formation that would still allow for maximum visibility for the audience below. The narrator jump and the mass formation were done successfully and even caught the eye of locals traveling around the area. It was mentioned by some airshow attendees the next day that they decided to come because they saw the team jump the day before.
The next day during the show the team was greeted with more media personnel wishing to take a ride up with the Gold Team aboard Golden Knight Air. One of the great advantages to being a member of the Golden Knights is that they have the privilege to see the excitement on the faces of the reporters as they sit just inches from an open door of an aircraft traveling 120 miles per hour two and a half miles above the ground. The experience is described as a once in a life time thrill ride by most passengers as well as a very humbling event as they know this is our everyday office.
The Gold Demonstration Team also assisted the Manassas, VA Army recruiters led by station commander SFC David Williams during the Manassas Airshow. The Gold Team provided a tour of the C-31 to four future soldiers. In addition to the plane side briefs, the demonstrators laid out their parachutes and repacked them in front of approximately 350 spectators to include Vietnam Veterans, future soldiers and the remainder of our proud military supporters. Demonstrators visited with The Virginia Airborne Search and Rescue Squad as well as CEO and Baton Recipient Kevin Rychlik from American Helicopters Incorporated in order to maintain rapport with sponsors for any future airshows.