The skies were still dark as the Twin Otter flown by the Golden Knights took off, bound for the starting line of the Army 10-miler, in Washington, DC on Sunday. Team leader, SFC JD Berentis spotted the aircraft for the streamer drop as the sun rose over the Pentagon. Once the streamers landed, the pilots shifted the run in and the Team prepared to exit in one of the most history rich places in the country. (more…)
The Golden Knights jumped into a local golf tournament at Cypress Lakes Golf course in Hope Mills, NC on Friday. Members of the Tandem Team and Gold Demonstration Team came together to give the golfers and spectators an amazing display of precision parachuting.
The weather forecast called for high winds throughout the day Friday but Mother nature held off. Clear blue skies and cool temperatures made for a great day to jump out of an airplane. The team performed the Golden Knights Stack out maneuver led by SSG Jared Zell. The stack out maneuver consists of all the jumpers exiting the aircraft one by one. As the team leader approaches 2,000 ft above the ground he will wave his arms to signal all of the jumpers to simultaneously deploy their parachutes and show off their high flying black and gold canopies. On top of the accuracy stack was a 2 canopy biplane formation piloted by Gold Team leader SFC JD Berentis. Each of the jumpers landed to cheers and roars from the crowd. SGT Jennifer Schaben was the aerial photographer for the jump and captured some great photos of the biplane coming in for landing. SFC Berentis piloted the biplane canopy formation for a perfect on target landing and brought the crowd to their feet for a standing ovation.
The team spends quite some time all over the country performing Demonstrations, competing in skydiving competitions and conducting Tandem Jumps. Local demonstrations in the area let the team interact with the local community and bring an Army Strong experience right to the heart of the Fort Bragg community.
The cheers from the crowd at Reliant Stadium could be heard from two thousand feet under canopy, as the members of the Gold Demonstration Team could tell you. The Team jumped the game ball into the Houston Texans v the Kansas City Chiefs game on Sunday. As each jumper entered the retractable roof stadium, the cheers got louder, and the song being sung–”Proud to Be an American”– was an apt description for the way everyone was feeling. Several people told the Team how the patriotic jump brought them to tears, and thanked them for their service.
All veterans, past and present, were recognized, and even the cheerleaders showed their support by wearing cheerleading outfits based around the different branches of military service. The Team was introduced on the big screen after the 3rd quarter, along with several deserving members of the military, who were also recognized. It was a great jump for a great crowd, and the Team was proud to be a part of it.