The C-31A Troopship
The Golden Knights have operated the C-31A since 1985, accumulating over 27,000 hours of flying time. For over 27 years, the C-31A Troopship is the primary support aircraft for the US Army Parachute Team’s Black and Gold Demonstration Teams. The C-31A is a militarized version of the Fokker-27 MK400 Friendship. The crew consists of two pilots and a flight engineer. The airplane is capable of pressurized operation up to 25,000 feet at 230 knots. The militarized C-31A is modified with two large air-operable jump doors which slide rearward and out of view to facilitate up to 25 parachutists. The airplane has provided safe and reliable service for the Military, Airlines and Cargo operators worldwide since the 1960s. The C-31A is powered by two Rolls Royce Turbine engines capable of developing 2,080 horsepower each. Both of the Golden Knights aircraft have been recently upgraded with GPS, Moving Map Technology, Traffic Collision Avoidance Systems, Enhanced Ground Proximity Warning Systems, Satellite Weather Uplink and Lightning Detection Equipment. These upgrades have greatly increased situational awareness and safety, as flight crews navigate the busy airspace of the United States on their way to your next Air Show.
The UV-18A Twin Otter
The UV-18A is the primary support aircraft for the Army Parachute Team’s Competition Teams and Tandem Team. The crew consists of two pilots. The UV-18A is a militarized version of the DHC-6 Twin Otter, and is manufactured by the Dehavilland Aircraft, Canada. It is a High Performance Short Take Off and Landing (STOL) Airplane powered by two Pratt and Whitney PT6-27 turbine engines, each producing 685 horsepower. The STOL capabilities make the UV-18A a true work horse, as it is utilized to operate with up to 17 parachutists very quickly from take off, climbing to 14,000 feet MSL, and then rapidly descending for landing. The performance and efficiencies of the airplane allows for multiple training jumps to be conducted during the duty day to prepare the Golden Knights 8-Way and 4-Way Teams for national and worldwide competition. The spacious cabin makes it very accommodating for the Golden Knights Tandem Team and their passengers. Recent upgrades to the Golden Knights UV-18’s include GPS, Moving Map Technology, Traffic Collision Avoidance Systems, Enhanced Ground Proximity Warning Systems, Satellite Weather Uplink and Weather Radar. These upgrades have greatly increased situational awareness and safety, as flight crews navigate the busy airspace of the United States.
Maintenance and Support Team
The Golden Knights support team consists of the Maintenance Officer, Maintenance NCOIC, four enlisted Military Flight Engineers, and a Civilian Contractor consisting of ten FAA Certified Airframe and Power plant Mechanics, Supply Technicians and Aircraft Inspectors. The current Contractor is Kay and Associates, Inc. The contractor is responsible for performing the majority of maintenance on all of the Golden Knights Aircraft. The Flight Engineers are responsible for performing technical duties to maintain the airplanes in top show condition at all times, both in garrison and when traveling. Soldiers are assigned to the Golden Knights, only after a thorough review of their service records, performance history, and successful interview. The dedication and technical expertise of the Golden Knights Maintenance and Support team has provided aircraft for every scheduled Air Show and support mission since 1959.
CW5 Jeffrey Sopp – Aviation Commander
Kay and Associates, Inc
Glenn Celcer Frank Reiner
James McLean Michelle McCormack
Jimmy Carrier Michael Dieck
Jason Drozd David Dellay