Golden Opportunities – German Jump Wings and Cutaway Training

Gold Team is taking full advantage of our training days at home to perfect our performances for the opening of the show season.  The team is gearing up and is very excited to get on the road and perform again.  This past week was very busy with our annual cutaway training.  The cutaway maneuver is one of the four separate demonstrations conducted during a full show.  Though it sounds and looks very dramatic, there is absolutely no danger to the jumper.  During the cutaway, the jumper is actually wearing three parachutes instead of the two normally worn.  The jumper deploys the first parachute much higher than normal and intentionally causes it to malfunction; demonstrating the procedure that would normally take place should an actually emergency occur.  It is very exciting to watch!

 This past Wednesday, Golden Knights from several sections of the Team came together to conduct a jump with German ambassadors, in their C-160 (a smaller version of the American C-130).  As the Germans took the Golden Knights up on their very last load of the day, it proved worth the wait.  The twenty jumpers, included ten Golden Knights, German ambassadors, military tandems, and other US military free fall personnel from Ft. Bragg, jumped just prior to sunset.  The view was amazing and the jump was conducted flawlessly.  Thank you to our German friends for such a great experience!

 The weather is looking good for training in the upcoming weeks and we are looking forward to seeing all of our proud military supporters again soon.  Until then…Blue Skies!!

cuttaway dirt dive formation Group Ramp

 

A Final Tribute to SSG Eric Holman

As the Golden Knight Demonstration and Tandem sections arrive at Homestead, FL, we begin to prepare for the new season to represent America’s Army. However, before we begin, we recognize one last tribute from 2012. As most followers know, Staff Sergeant Eric Holman, a 4 year member of the Gold Demonstration Team, was killed this past August, by an enemy improvised explosive device in Afghanistan.

Holman always had every detail of his life planned out. With his passing, few were surprised how he had his own memorial planned out- to the smallest detail. Being a fellow Golden Knight, he asked for his ashes to be released in free fall, on his birthday, by his Golden Knights Teammates, over the drop zone where he learned to skydive just outside of Pittsburgh.

Holman, 39, of Evans City, PA.; assigned to 192nd Ordnance Battalion, 52nd Ordnance Group, 20th Support Command, Fort Bragg, N.C.; died Aug. 15 in Godalia, Ghazni province, Afghanistan, of wounds caused by an improvised explosive device. His wishes were followed to the letter. Family, friends, his former brothers on the Golden Knights, and his most recent brothers with his Ordnance Battalion all assembled on November 20th to celebrate Eric Holman’s life and witness the arrival to his final resting place.

Holman logged more than 2800 free fall parachute jumps, 1000 tandems and 21 military static line jumps. It was our honor to perform one last jump with a father, son, dear friend, teammate and permanent brother.

We will never forget the sacrifices paid by our fellow brothers and sisters, allowing us to reach 2013 and continue our way of life. Thank you to the Holman family for sharing SSG Eric Holman with all of us and allowing him to save the lives of so many fellow Soldiers during his time with us.

http://armygk.armylive.dodlive.mil/2012/08/20/golden-knight-gives-the-ultimate-sacrifice/

http://www.militarytimes.com/valor/army-staff-sgt-eric-s-holman/6568311

 

 

Annual Certification Cycle Rolls On

The skies are blue in Homestead, Florida, where the Golden Knight’s Black and Gold demonstration teams and elite Tandem team are working hard to complete their Annual Certification Cycle.  The days start early in order to get as many training jumps as possible.   The demonstration teams have been working on all facets of the skills required to begin the show season.  These skills include various freefall formations, canopy relative work, target accuracy, and perfecting the narration used during our shows.

Canopy relative work, or CRW, is a newer component of parachuting where one jumper actually flies his parachute right into the hands of another jumper.  There are many different CRW formations that can be performed.   At the bottom of this page, you will see a seven stack built by the black demonstration team.

The newest members of the demonstration teams were in for a great treat with the arrival of Mr. Rob Reider.  Rob, an honorary Golden Knight and world renowned air show announcer, spent a few days sharing his experiences and knowledge with our up and coming narrators. 

The blue skies provide a perfect training environment for high altitude jumps, where the two teams are able to perfect their flights to perform a wide range of freefall formations.  Various team members wear red smoke on their legs to allow the spectator to see the formations from the ground. Once the outside jumpers reach 5,000 feet, they will each turn 180 degrees and streak to their opening point, creating a bomb burst with their smoke trails.  

The most important part of the jump, after the freefall formations and canopy work, is landing on the target.  Target accuracy is practiced and perfected every single jump during the two month certification period.  The jumper must be proficient in reading the wind conditions and maneuvering the parachute in order to land square on the target.

The tandem team has been busy training up the newest tandem instructors and providing tandem parachute jumps to various VIP’s.  The windy Florida weather has provided great experience to help this team prepare for their upcoming tandem camps.  There have been many happy faces coming off the drop zone thanks to this teams hard work.

The Golden Knights will continue to train hard in order to bring America’s Army to America’s Public.  We look forward to seeing you all at our upcoming shows!

Blog Roll