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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Black Team Completes Diamond Tracks During Week Four

Hitfter-crossBoth tracking partners simultaneously exit our distinctly painted US Army C31 Friendship Aircraft at an altitude of twelve thousand five hundred feet. Their goal is to create a diamond in the sky with their smoke trails and then turn one hundred and eighty degrees just to streak back towards one another, creating a dramatic cross in the sky with combined closing speeds of up to three hundred miles per hour.

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Assistant Team Leader SFC Teigh Statler has continued to coach, mentor, and motivate the black demonstration team as we began our fourth week of training which consisited of the diamond track maneuver, canopy relative work, and mass formation jumps. The diamond track maneuver requires each jumper to manipulate their bodies while flying towards each other using their hands, arms, legs and shoulders as flight controls to safely and precisely complete the difficult diamond track maneuver, crossing within what appears to be inches of each other from the ground.

The team is extremely positive with the progression of each of our maneuvers as well as the camaraderie that continues to build with six weeks remaining of our training here in Homestead, FL. The team begins our night training this coming week !

 

Blue Skies

Black Team !

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