As the Gold Demonstration Team wrapped up week one at the Golden Knights Annual Certification Cycle in Homestead, Florida, we are proud of all that we have accomplished. Though we had to endure tough weather conditions, which included high winds and lots of fog, we managed to accumulate over 180 jumps for our entire Team.
This year we also have welcomed three new Teammates who we were excited to start training, and they have already integrated seamlessly into the fold. Using the undesirable weather conditions to our advantage, we forged ahead on our narration training, and held classes that introduced the new Teammates to various skills and tasks that will be imperative to know throughout both winter training and the 2015 Demonstration season.
Looking ahead, we are moving into week two focusing on more stack out maneuvers, and integrating flags into our canopy training. We are also excited to perform our first demonstration of 2015 at the 66th Annual PRCA Homestead Championship Rodeo on Saturday, January 24th. For those in the area this weekend, we would love to have you come check us out!
SSG Koch talks with passenger
Gold Team Leader SFC Thomas Melton leads FY-15 ACC
Major Steven M. Coston was selected as the Golden Knight Aviator of the Year at the team’s Christmas party December 3, 2014. MAJ Coston is from Fayetteville, NC and assigned as the Detachment Commander for the United States Army Parachute Team Aviation Detachment.
MAJ Coston received his commission through the Army ROTC program at Norfolk State University in Norfolk, Virginia and began his service in the Army at Fort Rucker, Alabama in May 1999. His previous assignments include Fort Bragg, NC; Fort Huachuca, AZ; Wiesbaden, Germany; Fort George G. Meade, MD; and Arifjan, Kuwait. MAJ Coston has completed multiple combat deployments supporting Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom.
MAJ Coston has earned the Senior Aviator Badge and Combat Action Badge; and awards including the Bronze Star Medal (1OLC), Meritorious Service Medal (1OLC), Air Medal, Army Commendation Medal, and Army Achievement Medal (1OLC).
The Golden Knights Canopy Piloting Team competed October 9-11, 2014 for the 2nd Annual Sun Path Products Canopy Piloting Open in Raeford, NC. The event attracted 43 of the best Canopy Pilots in the world making the Competition a great train up for the upcoming World Championships.
The meet started on Thursday with two rounds of Zone Accuracy and two rounds of Speed events. A tail wind on the Zone Accuracy course made for very difficult runs for the competitors. After two rounds the event switched to the speed events. The wind was very light allowing for fast runs by the competitors.
Friday was the day for distance and the meet director ran three rounds of a new form of the distance event. For the new rounds the competitors had to navigate a carving course before starting their distance runs. The first round proved to be a big hit with the competitors and everyone agreed to finish out the event with two more rounds of the untraditional distance.
The competition wrapped up on Saturday, although the weather put the competitors on hold for most of the day waiting on the winds to diminish. The strong head winds and even stronger winds aloft made for a very challenging day.
One round of untraditional Zone Accuracy and one round of dragging water speed were the last events left. The head winds lead to a very high number of competitors not receiving scores.
SFC Joe Abeln who received a new parachute a day before the competition flew strong, while dialing in the new wing and finished 16th overall while SFC Jared Zell finished in 23rd overall. The Canopy Piloting team will be traveling to Zephyrhills, FL at the end of the month to represent the United States at the World Championships of Canopy Piloting.