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)

Gold Team Fourth Week at ACC

Parra-Little After crossDuring week four of ACC, Gold Team worked diligently on diamond tracks. Even with the challenge of having three new team members to teach this demanding maneuver to, we did an excellent job at making our crosses close and more consistent than the team has in the past. During the diamond track, two jumpers must exit the aircraft simultaneously, and track nearly one and a half miles apart. Once at this distance, both turn 180 degrees to find the smoke trail of one another in the sky, and track back towards their partner, crossing within what appears to be inches of each other. This is a very difficult maneuver to learn and perform. Because of the difficulty, each tracking team will perform with only one another throughout the entire season.

Not only did we have a successful week with the diamond track, but we also continued to open out each training morning with CRW. We had an amazing week creating more dramatic formations with our canopies, while also including flags and smoke into the mix.

Looking ahead, we will be starting our reverse cycle, concentrating our focus on night jumps with cold burning pyro. All of us are extremely excited to begin night training, as it is an incredible performance to watch for both our fans and us.

Blue Skies!!

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