It is week four for the Golden Knights here at winter training and it seems that the good weather has temporarily come to an end. While enjoying the clear skies and tolerable winds for the first few weeks of training, the team jumped more times within that period than almost every year prior. The training has been beneficial for everyone as target scores continue to improve and free fall flying abilities constantly excel. The weather holds have not gone to waste as it gives the new members more of a chance to practice their narration and prep more smoke canisters for use. The time also allows for much needed mentorship while on the drop zone but overall the time give the new guys a moment to take a step back and let the training soak in.
Last week the team was joined by three coaches from the West Point Demonstration Team “Black Knights” lead by head coach Tom Falzone. Mr. Falzone is a veteran skydiver with over 25 years of experience and had a chance to give the team some tips on putting together some larger formations. Both the Gold and Black teams received coaching from Mr. Falzone before putting both teams together for a 20-way formation. Local Boy Scout Troops and JROTC Cadets that came out to watch the Golden Knights perform saw the mass formation. Tom Falzone was thanked by the team as the Black Knights return to home to West Point New York.
The Golden Knights have arrived in Homestead Florida for Winter Training. This is the time for the graduates of the 2011 Assessment and Selection program to stand up and be seen as part of the team. Both the Black Team and Gold Team received three new demonstrators this year, the “New Guys”. This is the time of year for “New Guys” to learn from the “Old Guys” and for the “Old Guys” to refresh their skills after the long break form the show season. The teams that arrived in Homestead are The Headquarters section, Gold Team, Black Team, Aviation section(Team Six) and the Tandem Team . Everyone that arrived Sunday greeted the Golden Knight C-31 Aircraft as they arrived on Monday carrying the remainder of the team. After being given the safety brief it was time to get back in the air where we belong practicing our maneuvers to demonstrate before millions of spectators each year.
The first day of jumping was a humbling experience for several Knights who have not been jumping since the show season ended and yet most of the seasoned veterans never lost their touch. Winter training is not just about jumping or target accuracy but also a time to learn the all important show narration. The “New Guys” will also be using this time to practice their public speaking skills and truly learn what it means to be a showman. As each of the “New Guys” took to the microphone they were accompanied by their teammates, giving them helpful hints and much needed coaching. The team’s leadership feels it was a good first day and is looking forward to the upcoming show season!
The 2011 air show season has finally reached an end for Black Team. This weekend, Black Team, along with 5 others, from Gold Team and Tandem Team, flew all the way to Western Texas for the Amigo Airshow. (more…)