GKF4 Preparing For 1st Competition

image3 The Golden Knights Female 4-Way Team is almost two weeks into winter training. It

was a bit slow to get started, but since they got going, they haven’t looked

back.

Training at Avon Park, FL is ideal, due to the weather, the relative

isolation to training distractions, and the proximity to their coach, Solly

Williams, who has been instrumental in bringing the technical aspect of 4-way

up to par.

The team had to deal with some bad weather so far, both rain and

high winds, but they were still able to get in some great training by making

use of the Orlando wind tunnel. The tunnel is smaller than the team’s home

tunnel, Paraclete XP, and this smaller size forces them to leave out many of

the formations, but it still allows for good training.

The team was also able to pick up a few extra jumps by training on Saturday morning to make up

for the jumps missed due to the weather. So far this week, the weather has

been great and the Team is on schedule, doing up to 14 jumps per day, and

making leaps and bounds in their progress.

The first outdoor competition is looming less than a month away and the Team feels confident that their

performance will exhibit the training that they’ve completed, and set a great tone for the rest of the year.

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Night Pyrotechnics: Black Team Week Five

Black Team members of the United States Army Parachute Team, Golden Knights, train on putting together formations together with pyrothechnics above Homestead Air Reserve Base, FL.

Black Team members of the United States Army Parachute Team, Golden Knights, train on putting together formations together with pyrothechnics above Homestead Air Reserve Base, FL.

Black Team began week five with our night training at 4:00 am this past week with focus on stack discipline (vertical separation between jumpers under canopy), mass formations, and canopy relative work into the baseball diamond located on Homestead ARB. Each of our maneuvers were succesfully completed using our night pyrotechnics that are worn on our left ankle with wires running to a small ignition box that is worn on the chest strap of our individual parachute system.

We like to compare our night pyro to that of sparklers on our ankle to assist each jumper with illumination in free fall as well as under canopy. The night pyro is also helpful for our spectators to see us and for our ground safety officers to observe our maneuvers and keep an accurate count of each jumper due to limited visibility.

Upon completion of our night jumps this week, we continued our training into the daylight on Homestead ARB with focus on diamond formations, which the team will be completing and fine tuning as we head into week six.

Blue Skies

Black Team

Army Staff Sgt. David Echeverry, member of the United States Army Parachute Team, Golden Knights, performs post jump checks after training with pyro during night operations on Homestead Air Reserve Base, Fl.

Army Staff Sgt. David Echeverry, member of the United States Army Parachute Team, Golden Knights, performs post jump checks after training with pyro during night operations on Homestead Air Reserve Base, Fl.

A member of the United States Army Parachute Team, Golden Knights, trains with pyro during night operations on Homestead Air Reserve Base, Fl.

A member of the United States Army Parachute Team, Golden Knights, trains with pyro during night operations on Homestead Air Reserve Base, Fl.

Army Sgt. First Class Justin Little, member of the United States Army Parachute Team, Golden Knights, flies in the Army Flag after training with pyro during night operations on Homestead Air Reserve Base, Fl.

Army Sgt. First Class Justin Little, member of the United States Army Parachute Team, Golden Knights, flies in the Army Flag after training with pyro during night operations on Homestead Air Reserve Base, Fl.

 

 

Gold Team Lighting Up the Skies

IMG_1107   As Gold Team kicked off the very early mornings of week five, we were all eager to start our reverse cycle night jump training. Our mornings started off at 2:30 am, with the first jump of the day at 4 am. Beginning with stack outs, the newest team members were introduced to the workings of our pyrotechnic set up as a new part of their jump equipment. Much like the smoke brackets used during daytime performances, pyro allows spectators to see us in the air at any altitude, but now under dark night skies. As we moved on throughout the week of night jumps, we advanced quickly onto mass formations and CRW using pyro and flags, all ending with accurate target landings into the post baseball field.

Although this week’s focus was primarily on our night training, we worked well into each afternoon, training on our newest maneuver, the “world famous” Golden Knight diamond formation. For this maneuver, we have four jumpers exiting the aircraft at an altitude of 12,500 ft. quickly forming a wide diamond in the sky with their smoke trails. At 9,000 ft., the team leader signals the other three jumpers to close in, creating a tight diamond formation with each jumper flying merely inches of each other. At 5,000 ft., the team leader waves off the formation, signaling all jumpers to turn and streak towards the four points of the compass creating an stunning bomb burst in the sky.

Looking ahead, we are extremely honored to once again have the expertise of the Emmy Award winning announcer, and honorary Golden Knight, Rob Reider. He will be working with both demonstration teams, perfecting our narration techniques that will help to greatly enhance an amazing show experience for all of our fans across the country.

Blue Skies!

 

SPC Alex Bahry and SSG Jon Clevenger pack their main parachutes following a night jump

SPC Alex Bahry and SSG Jon Clevenger pack their main parachutes following a night jump

SFC Jenny Espinosa works on spotting our C-31 Friendship aircraft (SSG Mike Koch)

SFC Jenny Espinosa works on spotting our C-31 Friendship aircraft (SSG Mike Koch)

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