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.