FLCPA Meet

  

The US Parachute Team for Canopy Piloting photo by SFC Jared Zell

The US Parachute Team for Canopy Piloting photo by SFC Jared Zell

What a week!  The Golden Knights canopy piloting team spent the last 12 days in Zephyrhills, FL competing in the final Florida Canopy Piloting Association (FLCPA) meet of the season and the USPA National Championships of Canopy Piloting. 

   The final FLCPA meet of the year was also the largest.  Just days before Nationals, Canopy Pilots from across the globe came out to fine tune their flying skills.  Over 60 competitors took to the skies making the competition a very tight race for the top spots.  A strong tail wind was the story of the day helping the competitors go faster and further than most have gone before.  By the end of the FLCPA meet SFC Greg Windmiller, SFC Joe Abeln and SFC Jared Zell all finished in the top 10 of the final five meet league standings. 

   Two days after the FLCPA wrapped up, USPA Nationals of Canopy Piloting began. Nearly 80 Competitors showed up to Skydive City for the competition.  Three rounds of each Speed, Distance and Zone Accuracy are the events for nationals.  This year was also a selection year for making the 8 person US Team for the up coming World Championships later this year also at Skydive City.  The jumpers completed five rounds of competition by the end of the first day, all three rounds of speed and two rounds of distance. The second day finished out the last four rounds.  A stiff head wind picked up for the afternoon making the final round of Zone Accuracy very challenging. 

    

SFC Joe Abeln salutes the camera on exit. Photo by Randy Swallows

SFC Joe Abeln salutes the camera on exit. Photo by Randy Swallows

When the scores were posted the Golden Knights had a lot to celebrate.  SFC Joe Abeln took a Bronze medal in Zone Accuracy and an 8th place overall finish making the US Team as an alternate.  SFC Greg Windmiller despite a shoulder injury finished a Bronze medal overall and making the US Team in 3rd place.

SFC Joe  Abeln

SFC Joe Abeln going for distance photo by Jim Harris

SFC Joe Abeln going for distance photo by Jim Harris

SFC Joe Abeln wins the Bronze Medal in Zone Accuracy photo by Jared Zell

SFC Joe Abeln wins the Bronze Medal in Zone Accuracy photo by Jared Zell

Golden Knights Kick off Skyfest at Fairchild

Magnificient Starburst shot by team videographer SSG Trey Martin

Magnificient Starburst shot by team videographer SSG Trey Martin

 After a festive Memorial Day weekend the Gold Demonstration Team departed Columbia, MO, and headed to SkyFest Air Show at Fairchild Air Force Base in Spokane, WA for Skyfest 2014. The air show fans were really excited since this was the first air show at Fairchild since 2010 due to budget restraints.

  The team was ready to hit the ground running and start off a great weekend for the Spokane community. Throughout the weekend the team was able to take up various media and service members from all branches to get a firsthand look.  The U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds, Stearman Formation Team, Cascade Warbirds and Smoke and Thunder were a few acts also present this weekend, which gave outstanding performances.

 Sunday morning after the mass demonstration, Team Leader SFC Dustin Peregrin presented the Mayor of Spokane, Mayor David Condon, a baton which was flown in free fall. The team then packed their parachutes in the crowd with the assistance of enthusiastic recruits from the audience and quickly returned to the blue skies for the final performance of the day.

SGT Blake Gaynor jumped in at show center and narrated the entrance of his fellow teammates for the final Sunday afternoon show, which closed our weekend out with a complete success. 

 The team would like to thank all those from Fairchild AFB and Spokane for providing such great support for not only the Golden Knights but for all the performers present this weekend.   SSG Clevenger, Photos by SGT Trey Martin

Fayetteville Swamp Dogs

 

SSG James Hackett Jumping in the American Flag to Lee Greenwoods God Bless America

SSG James Hackett Jumping in the American Flag to Lee Greenwoods God Bless America

 

The Black Demonstration Team had the honor of being able to perform a local parachute demonstration this weekend at the Fayetteville Swamp Dogs baseball game.The Fayetteville Swamps Dogs are a collegiate summer baseball team playing in the Costal Plain League since the 2001 season, when they swamped the South Division with a record of 18 wins and 8 losses.

  Eleven black team demonstrators exited our C-31 Friendship five thousand feet above JP Riddle Stadium and put on a fantastic display of our infamous stackout maneuvers followed by a biplane (canopy relative work), which was piloted by SSG Chris Clark and navigator SGT David Echeverry to close out the show.

  SSG Chris Clark jumped in the game ball and presented it to the City of Fayetteville Mayor Nat Robertson, who threw the first pitch into the game. It is such a great privilege to be able to jump into local venues around our prestigious All American City, which is the Home of the US Army Parachute Team, Golden Knights. It was such a great pleasure to have our friends, family and local community cheering us on as we landed our black and gold canopies in the center of the stadium.  Join us for our next stop Rockford, Illinois!

SSG Bixler

 

 

 

 

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