Mitch Barnhart of the University of Kentucky jumps with SSG Joe Jones
The Golden Knights Tandem Team packed up shop once again, and for the week, is calling Fort Knox, Ky home. The Tandem Team arrived on Monday to set up operations on the main parade field. Three full days of Tandems were planned for the event. Mother Nature had plans of her own. Tuesday was to be the first day of jumping but came and went with out a single lift flown. (more…)
A Biplane formation over Cypress Lakes golf course. Photo by SGT Jennifer Schaben
The Golden Knights jumped into a local golf tournament at Cypress Lakes Golf course in Hope Mills, NC on Friday. Members of the Tandem Team and Gold Demonstration Team came together to give the golfers and spectators an amazing display of precision parachuting.
The weather forecast called for high winds throughout the day Friday but Mother nature held off. Clear blue skies and cool temperatures made for a great day to jump out of an airplane. The team performed the Golden Knights Stack out maneuver led by SSG Jared Zell. The stack out maneuver consists of all the jumpers exiting the aircraft one by one. As the team leader approaches 2,000 ft above the ground he will wave his arms to signal all of the jumpers to simultaneously deploy their parachutes and show off their high flying black and gold canopies. On top of the accuracy stack was a 2 canopy biplane formation piloted by Gold Team leader SFC JD Berentis. Each of the jumpers landed to cheers and roars from the crowd. SGT Jennifer Schaben was the aerial photographer for the jump and captured some great photos of the biplane coming in for landing. SFC Berentis piloted the biplane canopy formation for a perfect on target landing and brought the crowd to their feet for a standing ovation.
The team spends quite some time all over the country performing Demonstrations, competing in skydiving competitions and conducting Tandem Jumps. Local demonstrations in the area let the team interact with the local community and bring an Army Strong experience right to the heart of the Fort Bragg community.
Cypress lakes 2 stack biplane formation
Golden Knights visit with fans after the demo.
Several months ago the Golden Knights were honored to have NASCAR Driver/Owner Tony Stewart and his father Nelson visit us in Cincinnati. They did a little more than just visit. They wanted to know what it was like to go 120 mph with out the use of engines. The best way to do that is Tandem jump with the Tandem Team. It was a great day to have Tony and his father jump with the Team, one we were sure we wouldn’t top. That is until Tuesday.
Tony and his father Neslon paid another visit to the GoldenKnights. This time they came to our home drop zone at the Laurinburg-Maxton Airport, and brought Tony’s sister Natalie and several members of the Army 39 car’s crew team. The weather was amazing, clear blue skies, light winds and warm temperatures. The day started with SFC Elliott giving the tandem brief. While the class was going on Nelson, who already received the class, geared up and took to the blue skies. 15 minutes and 13,500 feet later Nelson was once again standing at the edge of the door.
Ready, set, go! Another great Airborne experience and perfect jump with the Golden Knights. Next up was Tony and sister Natalie, who was making her first jump. As Tony was hanging half way out of the twin otter 2 1/2 miles above the earth something was slightly different. Tony had already been here before and knew exactly what to expect. He gave a smile to SFC Eric Heinsheimer who was the photographer for the jump, he was ready. Just a split second later SSG Joe Abeln and Tony Stewart were heading toward the earth at 120 mph. Like a pro Tony gave a perfect arch for the exit and had a great time during his second skydive. After he landed Tony watched the rest of his teammate’s come in for landing. Loud screams of excitement could be heard from the skies above as the team members descended under the black and gold parachutes. A great Army Strong experience was had by all, and another great day with Tony and his Family.